Mamata Banerjee won a resounding victory in the by-poll from Bhabanipur constituency in south Kolkata on Sunday, beating her BJP rival Priyanka Tibrewal by a record margin of 58,832 votes.
The victory means Banerjee will be able to continue as chief minister despite her defeat at Nandigram in the West Bengal assembly election earlier this year.
The CM polled 84,709 votes at Bhabanipur – the seat from where she won in 2011 and 2016 as well – breaking her own record of 54,213 votes of 2011.
The seat was vacated for her by state minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, who won the April vote by a margin of 28,000-plus votes.
Also read: Nandigram: A close-to-heart, layered battle for Mamata, Suvendu
Banerjee hailed the results by flashing three fingers to mark the Trinamool’s victory, not just at Bhabanipur but at the Shamsherganj and Jangipur assembly elections as well. The polls there had been countermanded in April due to the death of a candidate in each of those seats.
“I am not doing a victory sign with two fingers. I am holding up three fingers. We fought three elections, we have won all three today. I am not so selfish,” Banerjee said. “Ek, dui, teen, Ma Mati Manush kay dhonnobad din (One, two, three – let’s thank the people).”
Tibrewal, a lawyer and long-time resident of the constituency, polled 24,396 votes. The 41-year-old lost from Entally assembly seat in April.
“As in every match, one loses, one wins. But not necessary that the man of the match is from the winning team. I am the man of the match,” Tibrewal said after the results were declared. “A little ant tries to climb through a door but falls a hundred times before it can make it. One shouldn’t lose faith,” she added.
In the other two assembly seats where results came out today, Trinamool candidate Amirul Islam led by over 10,000 votes at Shamsherganj and Jangipur’s Trinamool candidate Jakir Hossain by 52,528 votes.