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Monday, December 06, 2021

Explained: Key takeaways from TMC’s clean sweep in Bengal Assembly bypolls

While the TMC won all four seats, its vote share when compared with the BJP, and the performance of the Left and the Congress, tell an interesting story.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury , Edited by Explained Desk | Kolkata |
Updated: November 4, 2021 10:55:16 am
bengal bypoll results, TMC bengal bypoll win, TMC in Goa, tmc tripura, bjp in bengal, bengal congress, left bypoll bengal results, express explained, indian expressTMC supporters celebrate the Khardah bypoll win on November 2. (Express photo)

Trinamool Congress Tuesday made a clean sweep in the Bengal Assembly bypolls, winning all four seats. While the Trinamool registered landslide victories, the BJP, which had emerged as the main Opposition after the Assembly polls earlier this year, saw Dinhata and Santipur seats slip out of its grasp.

Here are some of key takeaways from the bypoll results:

TMC has gained strength after the Assembly polls

Following its thumping win over the BJP in the West Bengal Assembly elections earlier this year, the TMC has adopted a pan-India expansion plan, identifying states such as Tripura, Goa, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh to execute it. However, the party has not lost focus from Bengal, as was evident in the recent bypolls.

On October 3, the TMC won three Assembly seats in the state, including the Bhabanipur constituency, from where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was elected to state Assembly. With this, the TMC not only increased its tally in the state Assembly, but also improved its vote share.

In the state Assembly polls held in March-April, the TMC got 48 per cent vote share. In the Bhabanipur Assembly bypoll on September 30, Mamata Banerjee received 71.9 per cent votes. The party also received total 60.2 per cent votes in the election to Samserganj and Jangipur seats held on the same day.

In yesterday’s victory in the four bypolls, the TMC has received a massive 75 per cent combined vote share. Now the party has the strength of 217 MLAs in the Assembly.

Moreover, the party’s wins came with record margins. Udayan Guha won the Dinhata seat in Cooch Behar district by 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 won by an emphatic margin of 93,832 votes. TMC candidate from Santipur, Braja Kishor Goswami, secured his victory by a margin of 64,675 votes.

BJP foothold in Bengal slipping

The BJP had emerged as the main challenger to the Mamata Banerjee-led party during the state Assembly polls, but has since lost momentum. Besides failing to win any of the four Assembly seats, the party lost both Dinhata and Santipur seats to the TMC. Moreover, BJP party candidates lost their deposits in Dinhata, Gosaba and Khardah constituencies.

In the Assembly polls, BJP’s vote share was 38 per cent. However, in Bhabanipur Assembly bypoll, the party’s vote share dipped to 22.3 per cent. In Samserganj and Jangipur Assembly elections, the combined vote share of the party was 14.2 per cent. In yesterday’s bypolls, the combined vote share of the party was 14.5 per cent.

Moreover, the party has lost five of its MLAs to the TMC since the Assembly polls. The BJP MLAs who are now in the TMC are Mukul Roy, Tanmoy Ghosh, Biswajit Das, Soumen Roy and Krishna Kalyani. Although they are yet to resign from their posts, the unofficial strength of the BJP in the Assembly now is 70, down from 77. With the party losing elections one after the other, speculations are rife that more BJP legislators are likely to defect to the ruling TMC.

Congress wiped out, Left still in picture

Although the party contested only one seat out of the four, the Congress candidate in Santipur managed to bag a paltry 1.41 per cent votes, slightly above the 0.92 per cent that went to NOTA. When calculated in terms of all four seats, Election Commission data shows that the Congress fared even worse than NOTA. While it got 0.37 per cent votes, NOTA received 1.07 per cent.

This will allow the TMC to put more pressure on the Congress and put it in a tight corner if they face off in other Assembly polls.

The Left Front fared better and got 8.5 per cent votes, up from the 4.7 per cent it received during the state Assembly polls.

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