Mamata, also the chief of Trinamool Congress (TMC), bags 58,832 more votes than those Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Priyanka Tibrewal gets
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has won a resounding victory in the by-poll from Kolkata, which was crucial for her to retain the post after the Nandigram setback, reports NDTV.
Mamata, also the chief of Trinamool Congress (TMC), bagged 58,832 more votes than those Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Priyanka Tibrewal got, the polls results showed on Sunday.
This is record margin for her as Mamata surpassed the 2011 vote count at the Bhabanipur constituency in south Kolkata, which was vacated for her by State Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay.
It was a must-win for Mamata as she needed to get elected as an MLA by the first week of November to continue as the chief minister.
In the West Bengal Assembly elections held earlier this year, she had lost the Nandigram constituency to her former aide Suvendu Adhikari, who had defected to the BJP before the polls. But the TMC had won the state elections.
India's main opposition Congress, on the other hand, did not field any candidate against Mamata. The party's decision was announced by West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury earlier last month.
The TMC workers gathered outside Banerjee’s home to celebrate her lead in the crucial election. The party is also leading in Jangipur and Samserganj constituencies in Murshidabad district.
The celebrations took place despite the Election Commission directing the state government not to allow procession during or after the counting process, ANI reported.
The counting of votes for the bye-polls began at 8 am on Sunday. In all, there will be 21 rounds of counting for Bhabanipur, 24 for Jangipur and 26 for Samserganj, according to ANI. The elections took place on September 30.
Central security forces were posted at counting centres, the news agency reported. CCTV surveillance was also in place.
Meanwhile, Tibrewal, the BJP’s Bhabanipur candidate, wrote to the chief justice of the Calcutta High Court, requesting the strictest security arrangements to prevent violence in the aftermath of counting, Live Hindustan reported.
“I humbly request you to issue a strict order to all government enforcement departments to take extreme precautionary measures, so that no innocent is killed, no sexual offence takes place, no one becomes homeless and no incident of arson takes place,” she said.
West Bengal had witnessed a spell of violent incidents following Assembly election results on May 2. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling Trinamool Congress have blamed each other for the deaths of multiple party workers during the violence. Various news reports put the toll between 11 and 14, but the police did not confirm the numbers.
On September 30, Bhabanipur had recorded a 57.09% voter turnout on election day. Jangipur had registered 77.63% turnout while Samserganj recorded 79.92%.