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TMC earns maiden Asansol win courtesy Shatrughan Sinha, BJP turncoat Babul Supriyo survives CPI-M threat in Ballygunge
Bengal Bypolls

TMC earns maiden Asansol win courtesy Shatrughan Sinha, BJP turncoat Babul Supriyo survives CPI-M threat in Ballygunge

| @indiablooms | 16 Apr 2022, 07:44 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: For the first time in 24 years since its inception, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), spearheaded by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Saturday managed to win the Asansol Lok Sabha seat with veteran Bollywood actor Shatrughan Sinha as its candidate.

Despite a spirited campaign by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Agnimitra Paul, also an MLA from Asansol Dakshin, Sinha, who was tagged as an 'outsider' by the saffron camp, won by a mammoth margin of over three lakh votes in one of the biggest cities of the state.

Overwhelmed by his win, Sinha, a former BJP and Congress member, tweeted, "My most sincere thanks to the wonderful people of Asansol for their massive expression of support to me. I am overwhelmed and also humbled by the love and affection showered on me by the lovely people of Asansol, Bengal.....and feel both delighted and blessed at the same time..."

"...for yet another victory with yet another record margin. I am indebted to the great leader, the great woman, the great human being - Mamata Banerjee, for reposing her faith in me and am very happy that we have lived up to her expectations... We now look forward to living up to."

The Lok Sabha seat fell vacant last year after former Union Minister Babul Supriyo resigned after switching from the BJP to the TMC.

Paul, who called the result 'unexpected', tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeting, "Sorry @narendramodi Sir.. I tried my best but couldn’t give you this seat…. My war is to save Democracy in West Bengal Democracy has been murdered in West Bengal My war is on Sir."

Supriyo, who was made the TMC candidate from Kolkata's cosmopolitan Ballygunge constituency, faltered in replicating his predecessor late Subrata Mukherjee's massive win in the seat with a sizeable Muslim population.

Supriyo won by slightly more than 20,000 votes surviving CPI-M candidate Saira Shah Halim's threat in the backdrop of multiple incidents including Bogtui violence and Hanskhali rape that have caught Banerjee's TMC off guard.

The seat fell vacant after the death of West Bengal Minister and TMC veteran Subrata Mukherjee.

Justifying the narrower margin of the win in the TMC bastion Kolkata, Supriyo, referring to the 'No Vote To Babul Supriyo' campaign, said, "A dirty campaign was run against me. Lies can influence some people. But people by and large have given a befitting reply to all those who ran the campaign."

Reacting to the defeat in two wards falling under the seat, senior TMC leader Debasish Kumar said, "We will analyse the reason behind the trail in a few wards. I am sure we will recover in the next election."

The BJP, which had fielded Keya Ghosh, has failed to make a mark in a continuation of her party's poor run since the 2021 assembly elections.

CPI-M state secretary Md. Salim, who is elated by his party's first turnaround since 2009 Lok Sabha polls, said, "Despite the money and muscle power, people have shown that it is the Left and not BJP is the main opposition to the TMC."

Apparently ignoring her party's little setback in Ballygunge, Banerjee said the TMC organisation was given a "Noboborsho (she means Bengali New Year)" gift by the voters.

She tweeted, "I sincerely thank the electors of the Asansol Parliamentary Constituency and the Ballygunge Assembly Constituency for giving decisive mandate to AITC party candidates."

"We consider this to be our people's warm Shubho Nababarsho gift to our Ma- Mati- Manush organization. Salute to the voters for reposing faith in us, yet again."

The byelections were held on Apr 12.

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