At 80% turnout,die is cast in Bishnupur by-poll

The by-elections to the Bishnupur (West) Assembly seat passed off peacefully on Thursday with 80 per cent polling reported.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: February 27, 2009 2:29 am

The by-elections to the Bishnupur (West) Assembly seat passed off peacefully on Thursday with 80 per cent polling reported. The by-poll assumes significance since its outcome will be crucial to deciding a possible tie-up between the Trainamool Congress and the Congress for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress had earlier shown an interest for an alliance by withdrawing its candidate Mamtajuddin Gaji in favour of the Trinamool candidate and one of Mamata Banerjee’s close associates Madan Mitra.

The Congress candidate got around 15,000 votes in 2006 Assembly by-election,which the Trinamool candidate can expect to garner this time around. In the 2006 election,the CPM won the seat by a narrow margin of only 4,000. All the political parties,including the ruling as well as the Opposition,congratulated the electorates of Bishnupur on Thursday evening. No complaints were lodged with the Election Commission regarding malpractices.

In the 2006 Assembly elections,the two Opposition parties — the Congress and the Trinamool — had fielded candidates against each other,making it easier for the CPM. But this time around,scope for any split in anti-CPM vote is almost nil,something that has CPM worried. If the CPM manages to retain the seat,it will be a blow to the Opposition parties. Though Banerjee has welcomed the Congress decision to withdraw its nominee in her party’s favour,she has made it clear that the case in Bishnupur West should not be considered as a model for electoral alliance between her party and the Congress.

Madan Mitra,the Trinamool candidate,is confident of his victory. “You will see the results. The CPM will be wiped away from Bishnupur. After police action in Nandigram,people have created the alliance at the grassroots level,” he said.

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