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Mamata scores landslide victory in Bhabanipur, TMC sweeps bypolls

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: October 03, 2021 21:48 IST
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Five months after spearheading the Trinamool Congress to a landslide win in the assembly election, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee scored a personal point with a landslide victory on Sunday in the Bhabanipur bypoll with a record margin of 58,835 votes.

 

IMAGE: Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporters celebrate after party Supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wins Bhawanipur by-elections, at Balurghat in South Dinajpur district, on Sunday. Photograph: PTI Photo

Making her victory sweeter, her party's candidates for the other two by-polls in the state, in Jangipur and Samserganj, notched up impressive victories with TMC's Jakir Hossain winning Jangipur by a massive margin of 92,480 votes in a one-sided fight.

Banerjee's huge victory, which came after her narrow defeat in Nandigram in the assembly held earlier this year, was expected by most analysts.

However, political pundits and voters were watching out for her margin of victory.

By notching up an all-time high margin for victory in Bhabanipur in the heart of Kolkata, Banerjee seems to have underlined her popularity in her home state.

IMAGE: Banerjee gestures after her victory, at her Kalighat residence in Kolkata. Photograph: WB CMO Handout via PTI Photo

Banerjee secured 85,263 votes, while her nearest rival, Bharatiya Janata Party's Priyanka Tibrewal, garnered 26,428 votes.

Communist Party of India-Marxist's Srijib Biswas came a distant third, polling 4,226 votes, the Election Commission said.

"I want to thank the people of Bhabanipur, West Bengal, who were waiting for these results. The people of Bhabanipur have given a befitting reply to the conspiracy that was hatched to defeat me in Nandigram.

"I don't want to say much on a sub-judice matter. The counting is over, and we have won the seat," she said.

IMAGE: TMC members wave party flag after Banerjee's win, in Kolkata. Photograph: PTI Photo

The chief minister had earlier lost the Nandigram elections narrowly to her former aide Suvendu Adhikari, now leader of the opposition from BJP in the state assembly.

She has since filed a legal challenge to the election result.

"This is for the first time that we have won in all (municipal) wards of this constituency. The margin this time is an all-time high," she said.

Banerjee thanked the ECI for conducting the polls within six months.

"Since the assembly polls started in Bengal, the centre hatched a conspiracy to remove us from power," Banerjee, who had won the seat thrice since 2011 bypoll, claimed.

IMAGE: Banerjee is greeted by supporters at her residence in Kolkata. Photograph: WB CMO Handout via PTI Photo

After Banerjee's defeat in Nandigram, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, a state minister, vacated the Bhabanipur seat to facilitate her return to the assembly from the seat.

The TMC had won the constituency in the April-May assembly polls by a margin of around 28,000 votes.

The assembly segment has been a bastion of TMC since its inception in 2011.

Bhabanipur which reflects cosmopolitan Kolkata's linguistic and ethnic mix and has a large Punjabi, Gujrati and Hindi speaking communities.

The chief minister's home is in the centre of this south Kolkata constituency in the Kalighat area, which also houses the temple to goddess Kali, from whose name some claim the city derived its name.

IMAGE: The CM's waves at supporters celebrating her victory. Photograph: Utpal Sarkar/ANI Photo

Reacting to the final round of counting, Tibrewal said she has accepted the people's verdict with all humility, though she also claimed that the TMC had rigged the vote.

'I accept the people's verdict, my congratulations to Didi. I gave a fight, and the TMC machinery worked full time to indulge in largescale vote-rigging even (though) they were sure about Didi's (Banerjee's) victory. I exposed that on the day of polling,' she claimed.

In Samserganj, TMC candidate Amirul Islam won by a margin of 26,379 votes.

He secured 96,417 votes, while his nearest rival, Zaidur Rahaman of the Congress, got 70,038.

Jangipur's TMC nominee Jakir Hossain secured some 1,36,444 votes, while his nearest rival, BJP's Sujit Das, polled 43,964 votes in a one-sided electoral battle.

Hossain was declared victorious with a margin of 92,480 votes.

As reports of Banerjee's massive lead came in, TMC supporters hit streets across the state to celebrate.

IMAGE: Supporters celebrate Banerjee's victory in the bypolls. Photograph: Saikat Paul/ANI Photo

On the other side, the state offices of the BJP and the CPI-M wore a deserted look.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has directed the state government to prohibit victory celebrations and processions to prevent any incident of post-poll violence.

The BJP won 77 of the 292 seats of the West Bengal assembly that went to the polls. The Trinamool Congress won 213 seats, while Indian Secular Front and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha bagged one seat each in the last assembly polls.

BJP MLAs Nisith Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar resigned to retain their Lok Sabha seats, bringing down the saffron camp's official tally in the assembly to 75.

The TMC's tally came down to 211 after two of its MLAs of Gosaba and Khardah died.

With the victory in Samserganj and Jangipur, the ruling party's tally went back to 213 seats.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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