Kolkata, May 19 (IANS) It was a mixed day for sporting icons as Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Dipendu Biswas came through with flying colours but Bhaichung Bhutia and Jyotirmoyee Sikdar stumbled as the West Bengal assembly election results were declared on Thursday.
Former Indian cricketer and Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan, who was contesting his first ever election as a Trinamool Congress nominee from Howrah North, outclassed his nearest rival, Left Front-backed Congress candidate Santosh Pathak by a whopping 26,959 votes.
The seat was previously held by Trinamool’s Ashok Ghosh, who was dropped before the elections.
Dipendu proved second time lucky. He had lost by less than 2,000 votes to BJP candidate Samik Bhattacharya in a by-poll in 2014.
The former striker, who was adept at converting half-chances and finding the back of the net at will, garnered 88,085 votes, 24,058 more than that of second-placed Bhattacharya.
Arjuna award winning athlete Jyotirmoyee Sikdar lost to her biggest rival and sitting lawmaker Firdousi Begum of the Trinamool by 24,880 votes.
It was an uphill task for the 1998 Asian Games gold medal winner as Firdousi had also humbled CPI-M’s Shaymal Naskar in the then newly-created constituency by over 26,000 votes in 2011.
In Pandua, where there was a seven-cornered fight, Amjad Hossain of CPI-M edged past former footballer Rahim Nabi of Trinamool by 1,392 votes only. Nabi grabbed 90,097 as compared to Hossain’s 91,489.
Hossain had also defeated Nargis Begum in a close contest in 2011.
Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia’s electoral luck deserted him once again as he fell flat in Siliguri. The Trinamool Congress candidate came out second best against former state minister Asok Bhattacharya of CPI-M by 14,072 votes.
However, in 2011, the result was vice-versa as Rudra Nath Bhattacharya of Trinamool won by 5,006 votes. The TMC had contested that election in alliance with the Congress.
Bhaichung had been in fray in the Lok Sabha elections two years back from Darjeeling constituency, of which Siliguri is a segment. But he drew a blank against S.S. Ahluwalia of the BJP.