Mamata Banerjee breaks many records with Bhabanipur victory


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s sweeping victory in the Bhabanipur Assembly bypoll on Sunday not only ensured that she can continue in the post but also consolidated her position as the party supremo, as she not only won by a record margin but also secured the highest percentage of votes that her Trinamool Congress has got there in the last few elections.

Banerjee defeated her BJP rival Priyanka Tibrewal by a margin of 58,835 votes. Of the total 1,16,75 polled votes, she secured 85,263 votes, Tibrewal 26,426 and CPI-M’s Shreejib Biswas only got 4,226 votes.

Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, who won from this seat in the Assembly polls earlier this year but resigned to make way for Banerjee, who had lost in Nandigram to former aide Suvendu Adhikari, had got 63,505 votes against BJP candidate Rudranil Ghosh’s 36,768. His margin was thus 26,719.

While Chattopadhyay managed to get 56.6 per cent of the votes, Banerjee, in these five months, has managed to increase it to 71.9 percent – an increase of more than 15 percent. On the other hand, Ghosh had secured 35.1 percent of the votes but in the bye-election this came down to 22.9 percent – a substantial loss of 12.2 percent.

The Bhabanipur victory is a major achievement for the Chief Minister on other counts too. When in the 2011 election, Banerjee, riding on the waves of anti-incumbency against the Left Front government that had ruled for 34 years, achieved the largest margin of 54,213 votes. In this election, she has broken that record also.

In 2011, she had secured 57.1 per cent votes – a little more than Chattopadhyay. In 2021, Banerjee secured 71.9 per cent of the total votes which in itself is a record. In recent times, no other candidate has been successful in managing such a huge percentage of votes.

Bhabanipur, which has been one of the lowest polling constituencies in the state, recorded a polling percentage of 57.9 percent – much lower than the average polling percentage of the state that has recorded more than 80 percent most of the time.

“There are above 40 percent non-Bengalis in Bhabanipur who have voted overwhelmingly for me. I am content because we have not lost in a single ward. This proves that the people have overwhelmingly supported us,” Banerjee had told media after her victory.