Kolkata: West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress was ahead in 15 of the 24 seats latest trends for which were available in the Lok Sabha polls in the state.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. File pic
The Communist Party of India-Marxist, which spearheads the opposition Left Front, was way behind with its candidates ahead in only four seats.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be emerging as a strong force in the state, with its candidates leading in three seats. The Congress was leading in only two seats.
In the past, the BJP's best performance in the state came in 1999, when it bagged two seats - but in alliance with the Trinamool. This time, the BJP had fought all the 42 seats in the state on its own.
Among the Trinamool candidates who are in the lead are former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi (Barrackpore), party chief Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee (Diamond Harbour), state party chief Subrata Bakshi (Kolkata South), former union minister Sudip Bandyopadhyay (Kolkata North), Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's grand nephew and Harvard don Sugata Bose (Jadavpur) and former union minister Sougata Roy (Dum Dum).
Celebrity nominees of the Trinamool, who are in the lead, are actress Sandhya Roy (Medinipur), actor Tapas Pal (Krishnanagar), Satabdi Roy (Birbhum) and Arjuna awardee former Indian foolball captain Prasun Mukherjee (Howrah).
Bollywood singer and BJP candidate Babul Supriyo was leading in Asansol while his party colleague S.S. Ahluwalia has left behind his opponents, including former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia of Trinamool. Another BJP candidate, Birendra Bara (Oraon) was leading in Alipurduar.
The CPI-M led Left Front seems to be heading to its worst show since its formation in 1977. Amid an all-round dismal show, CPI-M central committee member Md. Salim was leading over his opponents in Raiganj.
Another Marxist candidate, Muzaffar Hossain was maintaining a slender lead over Congress nominee and president Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee in Jangipur.
State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury was maintaining a substantial lead over his rivals in his old constituency Baharampur.