Bengal not untouched by Modi magic
Narendra Modi, who powered BJP to the most resounding electoral victory the country has seen in last 30 years, also weaved his magic in West Bengal which saw his party put up an impressive performance despite considered weak in the state over the years.
Besides bagging the two seats of Darjeeling and Asansol, the Bharatiya Janata Party nearly trebled its 2009 vote share from around six to over 17 percent this year.
The BJP's prime ministerial candidate who kickstarted the party's Bengal poll campaign from the historic Brigade Parade Ground in the city, raised the political mercury addressing seven more rallies across the state.
The vote count brought out the inspiring performances of the BJP candidates in and around the constituencies where Modi held rallies.
The twin seats of Kolkata South and Kolkata North saw the BJP put up an astonishing display ending as runner ups.
Tathagata Roy polled an impressive over 2.95 lakh votes from Kolkata South where the party had got a measly 39,744 votes in 2009.
Party state president Rahul Sinha received over 2.47 lakh votes from Kolkata North where its nominee got just 37,044 votes in 2009.
Hitting the campaign trail, Modi held a meeting in Siliguri under Darjeeling constituency where veteran leader S.S. Ahluwalia humbled football icon Bhaichung Bhutia of the Trinamool Congress as the BJP retained the seat.
His next stop was in Hooghly district to canvass for party candidate and music composer Bappi Lahiri from Sreerampore and Chandan Mitra from Hooghly. Though both of them came third, the votes polled were far higher than the previous election.
Bankura too was swayed by Modi euphoria with the party's Subhas Kumar Sarkar polling an impressive 2.50 lakh plus vote share which played a decisive part in Trinamool's Moon Moon Sen doing the giant killing act of trouncing nine-time Marxist MP Basudeb Acharia by over 97,000 votes.
Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo turned out to be the real star for the BJP by winning the Asansol seat. Pitching for Supriyo, Modi had urged the voters of the industrial belt to send the crooner to parliament.
Similar is the story in Krishnanagar where former union minister Satyabrata Mookherjee could not repeat his 1999 victory feat but increased his vote tally of 2009 by over 1.5 lakh votes.
(Posted on 16-05-2014)