Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress emerged victorious in all the three assembly segments where bypolls were held on November 25, in a major setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party which had its hopes high after winning 18 Lok Sabha seats in May this year.
The three seats where bypolls were held were Kaliaganj, Kharagpur Sadar and Karimpur. It may be noted that the TMC had never won elections from Kaliaganj and Kharagpur Sadar. The BJP emerged in the second position in all the three seats.
Tapan Deb Sinha of TMC won the Kaliaganj seat in a close contest, defeating his nearest BJP rival Kamal Chandra Sarkar by 2,418 votes, Election Commission officials said. Kaliaganj is an assembly segment under Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency, which the BJP had won a few months ago. In the 2019 parliamentary elections, BJP had a lead of over 56,000 votes in the segment.
TMC’s Pradip Sarkar wrested Kharagpur Sadar seat from BJP, which came as a shock for the saffron party as it was earlier held by the party’s state president Dilip Ghosh before he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Medinipur seat.
Sarkar defeated Premchandra Jha of BJP by a comfortable margin of 20,788 votes. The saffron party had a lead of nearly 45,000 votes in this seat during the Lok Sabha polls. Kharagpur Sadar in an assembly segment in Medinipur Lok Sabha constituency.
TMC candidate for Karimpur, Bimalendu Sinha Roy won by over 23,910 votes defeating his BJP rival Jaiprakash Majumdar. TMC MP Mohua Mitra had bagged Karimpur in the last polls before she was elected to the Lok Sabha from Krishnanagar. TMC’s Sinha Roy bagged 1,03,278 votes whereas his nearest rival Majumdar of BJP bagged 79,368 votes.
The results have come as a huge encouragement to the TMC which faced a stiff challenge from the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls after the saffron camp won 18 out of the 42 Parliamentary seats. The TMC tally came down from 34 in 2014 to 22 seats.
Stunned over the BJP’s humiliating defeat in the bypoll, party’s Kaliaganj candidate Kamal Chandra Sarkar said the confusion over the proposed implementation of NRC has cost BJP the seats.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 28, 2019
West Bengal Chief Minister Banerjee dedicated the party’s victory to the people and said the voters had “paid back” the BJP for its “arrogance of power”. “We dedicate this victory to the people of Bengal. The BJP is getting paid back for its arrogance of power and for insulting the people of Bengal,” she told a TV news channel.
The CPI(M) and the Congress, instead of trying to strengthen themselves, are “helping” the BJP in West Bengal, she added.
BJP wins bypoll in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh
BJP’s Chandra Pant on Thursday beat her Congress rival Anju Lunthi by over 3,000 votes to win the Pithoragarh assembly bypolls and retain the seat for the party. Pant polled 26,086 votes against Lunthi’s 22,819, defeating her by a margin of 3,267 votes, District Magistrate V K Jogdande said.
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the victory was expected. “The seat was ours and we are happy to retain it. The margin is big. We thank people of the constituency for reposing their faith in us once again,” he said.
Reacting to the win, an emotional Chandra Pant said, “It is the result of developmental works done by my late husband in the constituency, besides the hard work of party workers. I would try to meet the expectations of the voters who showered their love and affection on me.”
(With inputs from agencies)