IN the midst of the drubbing in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections in the state, there was a silver lining for the CPM. They managed to snap Murshidabad and Raigunj – two key Congress bastions.
While CPM’s Md Selim won Raigunj by a slender margin of 1,534 votes, Badrudozza Khan, also of CPM won Murshidabad by a margin of 17,553 votes.
At Raigunj, BJP’s Nimu Bhowmik also bagged around 2 lakh votes. Md Selim, the winner at Raigunj while admitting the division of votes had an effect on his win, says the verdict was for development and against the bluffs of the Congress. “Of course in a four-cornered contest there is always a division of votes but do not forget that I also scored more than 3 lakh votes. People felt the need to throw the Dasmunshis out and that is why they have elected me,’’ Selim told The Indian Express.
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In Murshidabad, with more than 65 per cent of its population being Muslims, a division in votes also led to Congress being defeated by a margin of 17, 553 votes. Interestingly, in this constituency the BJP got about 1,01, 06 votes.
At Jangipur, the margin of Congress candidate Abhijit Mukherjee, son of president Pranab Mukherjee rose from about 2,000 in 2010 to 7, 741. TMC’s Haji Nurul snapped about 2,07, 455 votes. “I won’t say I won because of a division of votes. Of course our bastions in Murshidabad and Malda remained impregnable.
So far as the loss of Murshiabad is concerned, I can say it may be because of bad results at Karimpur side of Murshidabad constituency that comes in Nadia district,’’ Abhijit Mukherjee told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, the BJP has already manages to make inroads in both Malda and Murshidabad where their vote share has increased significantly. For example, at Malda Dakshin in which the BJP got only 43, 997 votes in 2009, this time came in the second position as its candidate Bishnupada Roy got 2,16, 180 votes. Similarly in Murshidabad, while the party got 42, 290 votes in 2009, this time they garnered over a lakh votes.
“During the first two phases of elections that took place in north Bengal, the ruling TMC could not indulge in full fledged rigging and that is why we did well there. But I believe if it had been a free and fair election, we would have fared much better in both north and south Bengal,’’ BJP state president Rahul Sinha said.