Mamata Banerjee wins Bhabanipur with record margin; Trinamool wins all three seats in byelections in Bengal

Published : October 03, 2021 20:26 IST

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after her victory in Bhabanipur, at her Kalighat residence in Kolkata on October 3. Photo: PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee won the byelection to the Bhabanipur Assembly seat with a record margin of 58,835 votes against her nearest rival, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Priyanka Tibrewal. Winning this crucial byelection makes Banerjee a member of the Legislative Assembly and allows her to continue as Chief Minister. She had lost the Assembly election in April-May from Nandigram and was unanimously nominated Chief Minister by Trinamool Congress legislators.

Banerjee described her victory as a “befitting” reply given by the voters of Bhabanipur to the alleged “conspiracies” that worked behind her loss in Nandigram. “We have not lost in any ward (in Bhabanipur). In 2016, when I contested, there were a few places where I got less votes, but this time we have not lost from any area…. I am ever-grateful to the people of Bhabanipur. There were many conspiracies against me, but the people of Bhabanipur gave a fitting reply to them all,” said Banerjee. She pointed out that 46 per cent of the voters in Bhabanipur were “non-Bengalis” and that everybody had come together to vote peacefully. Banerjee drew attention to the large number of “non-Bengali” voters evidently to dispel the theory that though she had the overwhelming support of Bengalis, the non-Bengali speaking voters of the State had been distancing themselves from her and leaning towards the BJP. Banerjee alone secured 71.9 per cent of the votes, while the BJP managed to get only 22.29 per cent.

“The whole of Bengal was very upset when after winning all the seats, we lost one particular seat. There are many reasons why we did not win that seat, but since the matter in subjudice I will not talk about it…. The people of Bhabanipur have filled me with fresh inspiration and fresh enthusiasm to do even more work,” said Banerjee. In this election Mamata Banerjee improved upon the earlier record she had set for Bhabanipur, when she won by 54,213 in 2011. The Bhabanipur constituency – Mamata Banerjee’s traditional seat – was won in the Assembly election by veteran party leader Sovandeb Chattopadhyay by 28,790 votes, as Mamata herself contested from Nandigram.

Trinamool also won convincingly in the other two byelections held in Samserganj and Jangipur. In Samserganj, Amirul Islam won by 26,379 votes against his nearest rival, the Congress; and in Jangipur, Jakir Hossain beat his nearest rival, the BJP by 92,480 votes. The Trinamool, which had won 213 out of the 294 seats in the Assembly election, has increased its tally to 215. Besides, four BJP MLAs have defected to the Trinamool.

Mamata Banerjee also announced the names of the candidates for the upcoming byelections to the Khardah, Santipur, Dinhata and Gosaba seats, which will be held on October 30. Sovandeb Chattopadhyay will be contesting from Khardah; Braja Kishore Goswami from Santipur; Udayan Guha, veteran leader from Cooch Behar, from Dinhata; and Subrata Mandal from Gosaba.