Bypoll Didis minister Kabir loses in prestige battle against Adhir,comes third.
The Congress,Trinamool Congress and the Left Front won one Assembly seat each where bypolls were held last week. But todays results were a pointer to how Congress-Trinamool split affected the outcome in the three constituencies which were won by the Congress in the 2011 Assembly elections when it contested in alliance with the Trinamool. By the time the bypoll was held,much water had flown down the Hooghly with two Congress MLAs Kabir Humayun and Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury leaving the party to join the Trinamool and then being inducted into Chief Minister Mamata Banerjees cabinet.
Both Humayun and Krishnendu contested from their respective seats Rejinagar in Murshidabad and English Bazar in Malda districts now on a Trinamool ticket. Humayun,once a close aide of Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury and now his bitter rival,came third. The seat was won by Congress Rabiul Alam Chowdhury,who defeated Left Front candidate Sirajul Islam Mondal by a margin of 11,722 seats. Humayun who had garnered over 77,000 votes last time got only 40,000 odd votes. Minister of State for Railways Adhir Choudhury,who is considered a satrap of Murshidabad district,had feverishly campaigned against Humayun even calling him Mir Jafar,the traitor.
But the Congress was not lucky in neigbouring Malda district where Congress turncoat Krishnendu defeated his nearest rival CPMs Koushik Mishra by a margin of 20,452 votes. The Congress came a poor third in the seat. The victory of Krishnendu was the saving grace for the Trinamool and it also marked the entry of Trinamool in the Congress bastion of Malda where the magic of former railway minister ABA Gani Khan Chowdhury helped the Grand Old Party to win in successive elections.
But the impact of the split between the alliance partners was in full show at Nalhati in Birbhum district where Left Front got a shot in its arm when Forward Bloc candidate Dipak Chatterjee emerged victorious despite getting fewer votes this time as compared to his 2011 Assembly election performance (See box). Chatterjee defeated Congress Abdur Rahman by 7,742 votes. Trinamool came third and BJP improved its vote share from 10,656 votes to 12,221. The seat was held by Congress leader Abhijit Mukherjee.