Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal
Kolkata: Results of General Elections 2014 exit polls are out and it appears that Mamata Banerjee will once again stamp her authority in her home state.
Exit polls have predicted that the Trinamool Congress will win an average of 27 seats in West Bengal, out of the total 42 in the state.
While that still leaves the TMC as number one force in West Bengal, the tally would not make Mamata happy – it leaves the party short of emerging as the third largest force nationally, after the BJP and the Congress.
All along Mamata had been hoping to emerge as kingmaker by winning around 35 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In 2009, the party had won 19 seats.
While the party`s internal assessment puts the likely tally at 30, exit polls have projected the TMC to win between 20 and 31 seats.
By emerging as the third largest party nationally, Mamata was hoping to play a key role in deciding who forms the next government at the Centre.
On her mind was also a scenario wherein she may have a go at the top job in the South Block if the situation permits. The TMC supremo has not denied harbouring the desire to become the PM, only saying "people will decide".
Prior to polls, Mamata had not sealed any alliance. She had been speaking against the Congress, the BJP (and Narendra Modi), and the Third Front, which is a combination of 11 parties including the Left, Samajwadi Party, JD(U) and JD(S).
So, it would be hard to guess, at this stage, which way would Mamata go if the need arises for any coalition to seek her party`s support.
The Left Front, meanwhile, is expected to bag between 7 and 11 seats, less than the 15 it won in 2009, as per exit polls results.
The Congress could win anywhere between 2 to 4 seats and the BJP between 1 and 3.