Victory in Bengal bypolls a mandate against NRC, says Mamata

Mamata Banerjee, TMC
Banerjee in July last year had launched a helpline number and a website as part of another outreach programme on the advice of poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who was appointed by the TMC after its Lok Sabha election reverses. | File Photo: Twitter/AITC

After Trinamool Congress’s massive victory in two assembly segments and an unassailable lead in another in West Bengal, where bypolls were held on November 25, Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee on Thursday (November 28) took a dig at the BJP saying it is getting paid back for “insulting” the people of the state.

The bypoll performance put up by the TMC is quite impressive especially in view of the saffron waves that had swept 18 Lok Sabha seats last May. The party emerged victorious in two assembly constituencies —Kaliaganj and Kharagpur Sadar — from where it has never won any election. It is leading in Karimpur segment.

Also read | Counting begins in three constituencies for West Bengal by-polls

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Tapan Deb Sinha of the TMC won the Kaliaganj seat by defeating his nearest rival Kamal Chandra Sarkar of the BJP by 2,417 votes, Election Commission officials said. TMC candidate Pradip Sarkar won the bypoll to Kharagpur Sadar by defeating BJP’s Prem Chandra Jha by 20,788 votes. The ruling party has also taken an unassailable lead in Karimpur with its candidate Bimalendu Sinha Roy leading over BJP’s Jay Prakash Majumdar by over 23,000 votes.

Terming this as a “mandate against NRC”, Banerjee said her party’s victory was in favour of “secularism and unity”. The chief minister has been vociferously opposing NRC saying she would never allow the exercise to be conducted in the state.

“We dedicate this victory to the people of Bengal. This is a victory in favour of secularism and unity and is a mandate against NRC. The BJP is getting paid back for its arrogance of power and for insulting the people of the state,” Banerjee told a TV channel.

“This mandate is against the politics of arrogance and people have outrightly rejected the BJP. They want to turn legal citizens of the country into refugees and send them to detention centres,” she added.

Also read | BJP candidate kicked during Bengal bypolls, shows footage

The CPI(M) and the Congress, instead of trying to strengthen themselves, are helping the BJP in West Bengal, Banerjee said. Criticising the central government for failing to generate employment and pursuing politics over religion, Banerjee said the mandate in the recent elections in Maharashtra and Harayana, where the BJP failed to get the majority, and the Assembly by-polls in the state is a reflection of “people’s anger” against the BJP.

“The countdown has started. They are not interested in generating employment or development. They are more interested in dividing people over religion and threatening others,” she said.

The BJP should not think that the people of this country will accept their “bullish tactics” of forming governments in states despite not having the majority, she said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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