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Advantage NDA Vs Mamata Banerjee In Close Bengal Fight

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The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and Bengal’s ruling Trinamool – a member (on-paper) of the Congress-led INDIA opposition bloc, although they are competing as rivals in the state after failed seat-share talks – are neck-and-neck in the race for the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats.

At 9 am INDIA was leading in 19 seats and the BJP coalition was ahead in 20.

Bengal is a key battleground in the 2024 Lok Sabha election – one the BJP is hoping to wrest away from Ms Banerjee and the Trinamool. A healthy score in the eastern state will also boost the BJP’s bid to hit its internal target of 370 seats and the overall, much-touted, ‘abki baar, 400 paar’.

Exit polls gave the BJP an edge over the Trinamool. A poll of exit polls gave the saffron party 23 seats and reduced its rival to 18. The Congress, which got two seats in the 2019 poll, could get only one.

If that result is delivered, it will be a seismic result for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, which has targeted Ms Banerjee and her outfit relentlessly since a thumping loss in the 2021 state election.

On Sunday, after exit poll data was released, Ms Banerjee dismissed the predictions.

She said they were not consistent with the ground reality since they were “manufactured at home” – a jibe at the BJP and the opposition’s multiple claims and warnings of vote manipulation.

“We had seen how the exit polls were conducted in 2016, 2019 and 2021. None of the predictions had turned out to be true,” she told TV9-Bangla. “These exit polls were manufactured at home by some people two months back for the media consumption. They have no value,” she added.

 Bengal is a key battleground in the 2024 Lok Sabha election – one the BJP is hoping to wrest away from Ms Banerjee and the Trinamool.    

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