TMC may win less than 175 seats, says report

TMC may win less than 175 seats, says report

TMC may win less than 175 seats, says report

Far from its earlier estimation of winning 200-plus seats in the Assembly elections in Bengal, the TMC brought down its tally to a realistic figure.

The ruling party could remain confined within 175 seats, although independent surveys hint at a rout for Trinamool in the recently-concluded polls.

In an internal assessment report, which is in possession of DH, Trinamool has surmised it would win less than 175 seats, with questions remaining over the final tally. The report, which breaks down Assembly seats in 8 categories, according their chances of winnability, finds that Trinamool is confident of winning 105 seats straight away, with the remaining 70 under a shadow of doubt.

Besides the “certain” seats, Trinamool believes it is “almost certain” to win 52 others and has “definite advantage” in 28 . If 45 seats are being counted as “outright” going to the Left-Congress coalition, Trinamool statisticians believe the coalition is “almost certain” to win 15 more seats, with the anti-Trinamool, anti-BJP alliance having “advantage” in 17 others. In around 26 seats, the party’s chances are “50-50”.

Interestingly, the assessment report is giving away 4 seats to the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, which rules the roost in Darjeeling. The Gorkha political outfit, a BJP ally since 2009, already has the 3 Hills seats of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, and it is also likely to win Kalchini at the foothills. Trinamool, which is backing dissident Morcha leader Hadka Bahadur Chhetri, the sitting MLA of Kalimpong, from his home seat, is not hopeful of his making it through.

The BJP currently has just Basirhat (South) in North 24 Parganas, which the party won in a 2014 by-election. The Trinamool report believes the saffron party will not be able to hold on to that seat, but could clinch Madarihat at Alipurduar in North Bengal and Mayureshwar in Birbhum.

While BJP has fielded Locket Chatterjee, a popular face on Bengali film and television, from Mayureshwar, her star value could go some distance in winning the seat. The addition of Madarihat under BJP’s roster was a surprise for independent observers.

The report further suggests that some leading TMC candidates, including ace footballer Bhaichung Bhutia will not be able to win and, actor Debashre Roy will not be able to retain her seat of Raidighi in South 24 Parganas.

The report also predicts that Congress will clinch 16 of the 18 seats in Murshidabad even though coalition has not been able to work out a seat-sharing arrangement in that district. A host of analysts suggests that even though the ruling party will not reprise its performance of 2011, when it won 184 seats, Trinamool is expected to scrape by and form the government.