Trinamool says win was expected; BJP satisfied with rise

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Kolkata, April 13 (IANS) West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress on Thursday described its triumph in the Kanthi Dakshin assembly constituency by-poll as a reaffirmation of the people’s faith in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s developmental agenda.

“People reaffirm faith in Mamata Banerjee as Trinamool sweeps Kanthi Dakshin by-poll. We congratulate the people of Kathi for the result,” the Trinamool Congress posted on its Twitter handle.

Trinamool candidate and former Health Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya trounced the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Sourindramohan Jana by over 42,000 votes in the six-cornered fight.

“We expected this result. The people of Dakshin Kanthi have wholeheartedly supported the wave of development under the guidance of our leader Mamata Banerjee. The result shows that the people of the state are with us,” said Bhattacharya, the winning candidate.

“Though the number of polled votes was less in the by-poll compared to the general election, our party has increased the vote percentage, which shows more people have come out to vote for us,” she said.

The Trinamool leaders also accused the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the BJP of having a “secret understanding” that enabled the latter to increase its vote share and jump to the second spot, pushing the Left Front nominated Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate to the third position.

“This is not that the voters are turning away from CPI-M to BJP. It is clearly a case of secret understanding between the two parties that apparently shows BJP’s rise in the election,” Trinamool Congress leader Subhendu Adhikari claimed.

BJP candidate Sourindramohan Jana said his party had expected the result to be a “bit better”, but was “happy” as the outcome reflected the BJP’s growing popularity in the state.

“We expected the result to be a bit better, nevertheless we are happy with it. People came out to vote for us amid the atmosphere of terror created by the ruling party,” Jana said.

“This vote is against the growing hooliganism and lobbying of the ruling party. Also people are slowly getting aware of the developmental schemes of the BJP. As a result we have come to the second spot,” he added.

The BJP’s vote share has gone up by around 22 per cent compared to the assembly polls last year.

Communist Party of India candidate Uttam Pradhan, who had finished second in 2016, lost his security deposit this time.

The Congress also put up a poor show, with its nominee Nabakumar Chanda getting only around 1.3 per cent of the votes.

Left Front spearhead CPI-M conceded the result was “far from satisfactory”.

“The result is far from satisfactory. We have to evaluate the result to find out the lapses,” said Left Front legislature party leader and CPI-M state secretariat member Sujan Chakraborty.

–IANS

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