Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday for her victory in the state assembly elections.
Modi also assured that the central government of India will continue to extend all possible support to the West Bengal state government to fulfil people's aspirations and also to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, reports NDTV.
Counting the BJP's gains in a state where it only had a marginal presence, he thanked the people of West Bengal for their "blessing" to the party.
"From a negligible presence earlier, BJP's presence has significantly increased," PM Modi tweeted as his party -- which aspired to 200 of Bengal's 294 seats -- looks set to win only 70-plus seats. Ms Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is likely to win more than the 211 seats it won in 2016.
PM Modi's congratulations came hours after several of his party leaders, including Union Minister Rajnath Singh, extended their good wishes to the Chief Minister.
The BJP aimed to expand their footprint in the eastern India since coming to power at the central government in 2014.
In 2015, then BJP chief Amit Shah had laid down a 200-seat goal to the state unit of the party. But over the years, while the BJP has managed to bring the states of the northeast under its control, Bengal has proved elusive yet again.
For many in the party, the disappointment has been sharp, especially after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls where the BJP managed to win 18 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats – a long way up from two seats.