West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the by-election in Bhabanipur assembly constituency in South Kolkata defeated her nearest rival Priyanka Tibrewal of BJP by a record margin of 58,832 votes. Previously Banerjee had the record of winning from this constituency by a margin of 54,213 votes in 2011. With this win Banerjee secured her position as the chief minister of West Bengal.
After 21 rounds of counting, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee secured 84,709 of the total 1,17,875 votes, securing more than 71 per cent of the total votes polled while Tibrewal secured 26,350 votes, little more than 22 per cent of the votes. CPI(M) candidate Shreejib Biwas managed to get only 4,201 votes.
“I am indebted to the people to Bhabanipur because they helped me win with a record margin. The most interesting thing is we didn’t lose in any of the ward. The polling in Bhabanipur has always been low and there was rain. Despite that people came out in numbers and gave us votes,” Chief Minister who was flanked by All India Trinamool Congress General Secretary and his daughter said.
“There was a lot of conspiracy against us and the people of Bhabanipur have given the answer. When we won in all the seats, we lost in Nandigram. The matter is subjudice and so I shall not say more,” she said adding, “I shall not show victory signs raising two fingers. I am not selfish. Two of my colleagues are contesting from Jangipur and Samserganj and so I shall raise three fingers. They are also leading and blessing them so that they can win”.
Speaking to the media state transport minister Frihad Hakim who was also instrumental in facilitating the victory of the chief minister said, “I had no doubt about her win. It was my curiosity to see whether she can win with a margin of more than 50,000 votes and she did that”.
“It is a victory for the people of Bhabanipur. It is a victory of the people of West Bengal. It’s an answer to the way she was treacherously defeated in Nandigram. People have taken revenge. They have shown that Mamata Banerjee cannot be stopped in this way. She will become the prime face against BJP nationally and that is the verdict of the people,” Hakim said.
Meanwhile Mamata Banerjee announced the names of the candidates for the three of the four assembly constituencies that are going for the by-elections on October 30. “Our candidate from Khardha will be Sovondeb Chattopadhyay, for Shantipur in Nadia the candidate is Broj Kishore Goswami and for Dinhata in Coochbehar the candidate will be Udayan Guhaa. The chief minister said that the name of the candidate for Gosaba in South 24 Parganas is yet to be decided.
Sovondeb Chattopadhyay who won from Bhabanipur by a margin of 28,189 votes in the assembly election resigned to make room for Mamata Banerjee. Banerjee who lost to Suvendu Adhikari in the assembly election had to win within six months to retain her position as the chief minister of the state.
In two other constituencies – Jangipur and Samserganj the Trinamool Congress candidates have maintained their lead. Jakir Hossain who is contesting from Jangipur assembly constituency is also leading by a margin of 57,935 votes after the sixteenth round of counting. Trinamool Congress candidate from Samserganj Amirul Islam is also leading by a margin of 17,863 votes after the fourteenth round of counting.