The ruling Trinamool Congress on Thursday swept Uluberia Lok Sabha and Noapara Assembly bypolls, with the BJP bagging the second spot in both seats and the CPM being pushed to the third position. Congress came fourth in both seats and its candidates lost their deposits.
In Uluberia, Trinamool retained its seat by receiving 4.74 lakh votes — doubling its 2014 Lok Sabha polls winning margin. In Noapara, it defeated Congress by 63,018 votes. In terms of vote share, too, the ruling party emerged supreme with 61 per cent in Uluberia and 55 per cent in Noapara. TMC candidate Sajda Ahmed, wife of late MP Sultan Ahmed (whose death had paved the way for the Uluberia bypoll) received 7,67,219 votes and won by a margin of 4,74,201 votes. In 2014, Sultan Ahmed had won the seat by a margin of more than 2 lakh votes. The party also increased its vote share by 13 per cent.
Party secretary general Partha Chatterjee said: “The people of West Bengal are with the Trinamool Congress and this victory is for them. Today’s election results showed that we are way ahead of the Opposition, which conspired to defeat us. CPM and Congress helped BJP to defeat Trinamool. However, they could not succeed.”
The BJP, meanwhile, not only emerged as runner-up on both seats, it also increased its vote share, giving impetus to its claim that it is the main Opposition party in the state. In Uluberia, the party received 2,93,018 votes (around 1,60,000 more than what it had received in 2014). The CPM, on the other hand, received 1,38,792 votes (2,30,000 less than 2014). While BJP got 23.2 per cent votes, a 12 per cent increase from 2014, CPM managed only 11 per cent votes — a decrease of 20 per cent from 2014.
In Noapara Assembly bypoll, Trinamool’s Sunil Singh received 1,01,729 votes and won by a margin of 63,018 votes. On the other hand, BJP bagged 38,711 votes and CPM 35,497. While Trinamool witnessed a 12 per cent increase in its vote share, for BJP, the figure was 8 per cent. The bypoll was necessitated following
Congress MLA Madhusudan Ghosh’s death. Maintaining that BJP is now the main Opposition party in Bengal, party state general secretary Sayantan Basu said: “In many booths, the ruling party used strongarm tactics. Our agents were not even allowed to enter. In such an atmosphere, do you think free and fair voting was held?”