The outcome of the West Bengal bye elections had been dubbed a ‘litmus-test’ of political relevance, and TMC has now shown that it can claw back and retake every bit the BJP had previously chipped away from it.
The Trinamool Congress has won all three constituencies where bye elections were held on November 25. The TMC held on to Karimpur with Bimalendu Sinha Roy defeating BJP’s Jay Prakash Majumdar by over 23,000 votes. TMC also won Kalianganj, where Tapan Deb Singha defeated BJP’s Kamal Chandra Sarkar by a slim margin of just over 2000 votes. Both constituencies are significant because of a large population of migrants and refugees.
However, the icing on the cake was wresting back control of Kharagpur Sadar from the clutches of the BJP, especially since it was the constituency of BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh. Bye elections were necessitated here are Ghosh became a Member of Parliament. But TMC’s Pradip Sarkar thrashed BJP’s Prem Chandra Jha with a winning margin of over 20,000 votes!
Coming across every bit as the cat who got the cream, Mamata Banerjee said, “For the first time in 22 years, since the formation of the Trinamool Congress, we have won the Kaliaganj and Kharagpur Assembly seats.” And as if to rub salt into the wounds of the BJP, she added, “Those who are anti-people, those who are boastful, those who seek to divide people on narrow lines, those who are not for development have been completely routed.”