Kolkata: Though ruling Trinamool Congress appears set to retain power with a two-third majority in West Bengal, as its candidates led in 208 of the 294 constituencies on Thursday, its main opponent BJP is also likely to make a debut this time.
As per the latest trends, the BJP candidates are leading in 10 seats and the party is confident of winning some seats this time. If the party manages to wrest at least 10 seats it would be a big achievement for the saffron party, which is trying to make inroads in the Trinamool Congress ruled state.
Interestingly, the Congress,which contested the assembly elections here in alliance with the Left, is likely to win more seats than its partner.
The Left-Congress nominees are ahead in 74 constituencies.
Candidates of the BJP and its allies were leading in 10 places. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, one of the BJP's allies, was ahead in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.
The Trinamool wave appeared to be crushing all the opposition in the southern parts of the state while the Left-Congress challenge was most visible in northern Bengal.
Among the prominent Trinamool leaders on the road to victory was Finance Minister Amit Mitra from Khardaha.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra led from his constituency Narayangarh while Congress' Manas Bhunia was ahead in Sabang.
Among celebrity candidates, Trinamool's Laxmi Ratan Shukla (Howrah North) and Baishali Dalmiya (Bally) were in the lead.
Around 82.80 percent of the 6.55 crore electorate voted in the elections held from April 4 to May 5 to elect a 294-member assembly.