TMC gets cause to cheer, retains Bongaon, Krishnaganj seats
KOLKATA, FEBRUARY 16
An embattled Trinamool Congress Monday got a shot in the arm by emphatically retaining the Bongaon Lok Sabha and Krishnaganj assembly seats in West Bengal, where by-polls were held last week.
Seemingly cornered over the Saradha scam in which several of its leaders have been either arrested or grilled, the state’s ruling Trinamool called the victory a “miracle” while the opposition Left Front spearhead Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) claimed the polls did not reflect the people’s choice.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been gaining ground in the state, finished second at Krishnaganj, pushing the CPI-M to the third spot. In Bongaon, the CPI-M narrowly succeeded in retaining the second position after a close battle with the BJP. The Congress candidates lost their deposits and came fourth in both the seats.
In Bongaon, Trinamool candidate Mamatabala trounced her nearest rival CPI-M nominee and former state minister Debesh Das by over 2.11 lakh votes. She led in all seven assembly segments of the primarily rural constituency, comprising parts of North 24 Parganas and Nadia districts.
Das, who had finished runner up in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, was initially at the third position, but made up midway through the counting to climb up one rung.
The Bangaon by polls, necessitated by the death of Trinamool MP Kapil Krishna Thakur, assumed extra significance for the ruling party after state minister and Kapil Krishna’s brother Manjul Krishna quit his post and joined BJP in the lead-up to the election.
While the Trinamool fielded Kapil Krishna’s widow Mamatabala, the BJP ticket went to Manjul Krishna’s son Subrata.
In Nadia district’s Krishnaganj, Trinamool candidate Satyajit Biswas won by over 37,000 votes against his nearest rival Manabendra Roy of the BJP.
The Trinamool vote share dropped two percent compared to last year’s Lok Sabha polls, while the BJP’s vote almost doubled. CPI-M’s Apurba Biswas secured far less support this time as compared to last year.
The seat fell vacant due to the death of Trinamool lawmaker Sushil Biswas.
Over 80 percent voters cast their votes Feb 13 in the two seats, reserved for scheduled caste candidates.