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Monday, December 06, 2021

TMC sweeps Bengal bypolls 4-0, BJP loses deposit in three

Mamata calls it ‘people’s win’, says state chose ‘development’ over ‘hate’

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
November 3, 2021 2:46:30 am
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to Twitter to congratulate her party candidates on their victories. (File)

The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday made a clean sweep by winning all the four Assembly constituencies in West Bengal where bypoll was held.

While the TMC registered landslide victories, the BJP, which had emerged as the main Opposition force after the Assembly polls earlier this year, lost Dinhata and Santipur seats, where it had won in May, to the ruling party.

The by-elections to Dinhata, Santipur, Khardaha and Gosaba seats were held on October 30.
The BJP not only lost in all the four seats, its three candidates lost their deposits.

Former Trinamool MLA Udayan Guha won the Dinhata seat in Cooch Behar district by a massive margin of 1,64,089 votes. In Gosaba, Trinamool’s Subrata Mondal romped home by a margin of 1,43,051 votes. In Khardah, state minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, who was fielded by the ruling party after he resigned as Bhabanipur MLA to enable party chief TMC Mamata Banerjee to return as legislator, won by an emphatic margin of 93,832 votes. Its candidate from Santipur, Braja Kishor Goswami, secured his victory by a margin of 64,675 votes.

In all four seats combined, the TMC received 75 per cent of the votes polled, while the BJP had to be content with only 14.5 per cent votes. The Left Front got 7.3 per cent votes, while the Congress fared even worse, receiving a paltry 0.37 per cent votes. NOTA tallied 1.07 per cent of the votes polled.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to Twitter to congratulate her party candidates on their victories.
“My heartiest congratulations to all the four winning candidates! This victory is people’s victory, as it shows how Bengal will always choose development and unity over propaganda and hate politics. With people’s blessings, we promise to continue taking Bengal to greater heights!” Banerjee said in a tweet.
Trinamool’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee rubbed salt into the BJP’s wounds, tweeting, “A cracker-free Diwali in true sense. Wishing friends at @BJP4India a very Happy Diwali!”

Trinamool’s Rajya MP Derek O’Brien said in a tweet, “Beyond the headlines of TMC’s HUGE WIN in 4 bypolls, some nuggets- Neck&neck fight for 2nd/3rd position between BJP and CPIM, BJP lost in Min of State for Home’s own booth, Margin in Dinhata: from minus 57 in May to +1.5lakh, Shah ain’t going to Bengal till next Diwali?”

Commenting on the party’s bypoll rout, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said, “The result in Dinhata indicates what happened there. In the prevailing climate of terror and violence in West Bengal, it is not possible to hold a free and fair election. There was violence even during these bypolls. There is no democracy in Bengal.”

While former Tripura governor and senior BJP leader Tathagata Roy sought to lay the blame for the party’s poor showing on national vice president Dilip Ghosh and Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, Ghosh brushed aside the criticism and claimed that people voted Trinamool “out of fear”.
He further claimed that party’s candidates couldn’t campaign because of the Trinamool’s “terror tactics”.

Just to illustrate how the contest in Dinhata turned out to be a lopsided affair, winning Trinamool candidate Udayan Guha bagged a total 1,89,575 (84.12 per cent) of the votes polled. The BJP’s Ashok Mondal stood a distant second, receiving 25,486 (11.31 per cent) of the votes polled.

In Dinhata, the BJP even trailed in the booth represented by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nisith Pramanik. The constituency went to bypoll after winning BJP candidate Pramanik chose to remain Lok Sabha MP.

“It is a sweet victory. We took this election as a challenge and have stopped the communal force in Dinhata. Today, it has been proven that Union minister Nitish Pramanik is just a paper tiger in Cooch Behar district. We have won the seat by a record margin within six months after losing it to the BJP,” an elated Guha said.

BJP Cooch Behar district president Malati Rava Roy claimed the party was not allowed to campaign for the bypoll. “Democracy was murdered in Dinhata. Our candidate was not allowed to hold public meetings. In every booth, the Trinamool indulged in violence to win the election,” the BJP leader said.

In the Gosaba constituency in the South 24 Parganas, Trinamool candidate Subrata Mondal won by a huge margin of 1,43,051 votes. He received a total of 1,61,474 (87.19 per cent) votes. His nearest rival, BJP’s Palash Rana bagged 18,423 (9.95 per cent) votes.

At Khardaha, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay received 1,14,086 (73.59 per cent) votes, while the BJP’s Joy Saha trailed at 20,254 (13.07 per cent) votes.

“This is a victory of the people. They have proved once again that they are with Mamata Banerjee and her government in the state. We wholeheartedly thank them for giving us this mandate,” Chattopadhyay said after his victory.

In Santipur constituency in Nadia district, Trinamool’s Brajakishore Goswami got 1,12,087 (54.89 per cent) of the votes polled, while the BJP candidate, Niranjan Biswas, received 47,412 (23.22 per cent) votes.

Just as in Dinhata, the bypoll in Santipur was held as the winning BJP candidate in this year’s Assembly polls, Jaganath Sarkar did not take oath as an MLA and chose to remain an MP instead. The by-elections to Khardaha and Gosaba were necessitated by the deaths of winning Trinamool candidates.

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