West Bengal bypolls see clean sweep for ruling TMC; Mamata Banerjee says voters 'paid BJP back for arrogance'
Kolkata: In a major boost for the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, the party on Thursday bagged all the three Assembly seats where bypolls were held on 25 November and trounced the BJP. The TMC won the Kaliaganj, Kharagpur Sadar and Karimpur bypolls. The BJP emerged in the second position in all the three seats.
File image of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI
Tapan Deb Sinha of TMC won the Kaliaganj seat in a close contest, defeating his nearest BJP rival Kamal Chandra Sarkar by 2,418 votes, Election Commission officials said. Kaliaganj is an Assembly segment under Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency, which the BJP had won a few months ago. In the 2019 parliamentary election BJP had a lead of over 56,000 votes in the segment.
TMC's Pradip Sarkar wrested Kharagpur Sadar seat from BJP, which came as a shock for the saffron party as it was earlier held by the party's state president Dilip Ghosh before he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Medinipur seat. Sarkar defeated Premchandra Jha of BJP by a
comfortable margin of 20,788 votes. The saffron party had a lead of nearly 45,000 votes in this seat during the Lok Sabha polls.
Kharagpur Sadar in an Assembly segment in Medinipur Lok Sabha constituency. The TMC candidate for Karimpur, Bimalendu Sinha Roy
won by over 23,910 votes defeating his BJP rival Jaiprakash Majumdar. TMC MP Mohua Mitra had bagged Karimpur in the last polls before she was elected to the Lok Sabha from Krishnanagar. TMC's Sinha Roy bagged 1,03,278 votes whereas his nearest rival Majumdar of BJP bagged 79,368 votes.
This is the first time that the TMC has bagged the Kaliaganj and Kharagpur seats. The results have come as a huge encouragement to the
TMC which faced a stiff challenge from the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll, after the saffron camp won 18 out of the 42 parliamentary seats. The TMC tally came down from 34 in 2014 to 22 seats.
Stunned over party's humiliating defeat in the bypoll, party's Kaliaganj candidate Kamal Chandra Sarkar said the confusion over the proposed implementation of NRC has cost BJP the seats. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee dedicated the party's victory to the people and said the voters had "paid back" the BJP for its "arrogance of power".