Bypolls: TMC, Cong, RJD win; BJP draws blank
Kolkata/Kolhapur: The Trinamool Congress on Saturday made a clean sweep winning both the Asansol Lok Sabha and the Ballygunge assembly seats in West Bengal while the Congress and the RJD bagged one constituency each in Maharashtra and Bihar in the bypolls to these seats with the BJP drawing a blank.
Congress candidate Yashoda Verma was maintaining a significant lead over Komal Janghel of the BJP in the Khairagarh assembly bypoll in Chhattisgarh where counting was underway.
In West Bengal, movie actor-turned politician Shatrughan Sinha of the TMC defeated BJP’s Agnimitra Paul by 3,03,209 votes in Asansol. The BJP had won the seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls by 1.97 lakh votes when Babul Supriyo who was then in the BJP beat TMC’s Moon Moon Sen.
Supriyo, who was nominated by the TMC from the prestigious Ballygunge assembly constituency, defeated CPI(M)’s Saira Shah Halim by a margin of 20,228 votes. BJP’s Keya Ghosh managed to bag just 13,220 votes.
The bypoll, which took place on April 12, was necessitated as state minister Subrata Mukherjee, who represented Ballygunge, died last year.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee thanked voters of Asansol and Ballygunge for giving a decisive mandate to the TMC candidates.
“I sincerely thank the electors of the Asansol Parliamentary Constituency and the Ballygunge Assembly Constituency for giving decisive mandate to AITC party candidates,” she tweeted.
“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,” she added.
In Asansol, ‘Shotgun’ Sinha said he was “grateful to Asansol’s people and to Mamata Banerjee for this victory.”
BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said it is a general trend that the party in power in the state generally wins the by-elections.
In a boost to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) combine in Maharashtra, the Congress won the bypoll to the Kolhapur North assembly constituency, retaining the seat by defeating the BJP by a margin of over 18,000 votes.
Congress-MVA candidate Jayashri Jadhav bagged 96,176 votes, while BJP’s Satyajeet Kadam polled 77,426 votes.
The by-election was necessitated because of the death of sitting Congress MLA Chandrakant Jadhav due to Covid in December 2021.
Jadhav thanked the voters and said all three constituents of the MVA worked together to clinch victory.
Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole termed the party’s win as “victory of progressive thoughts”.
The opposition RJD in Bihar wrested the Bochahan assembly seat from the ruling NDA, with its candidate defeating the BJP nominee by a big margin of over 35,000 votes.
RJD candidate Amar Paswan, whose father Musafir Paswan’s death had necessitated the by-election, polled 82,116 votes while his nearest BJP rival Baby Kumari got only 45,353.
Expelled state minister Mukesh Sahani’s Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), on the ticket of which Musafir Paswan had won the seat in 2020, finished a distant third with 29,671 votes.
VIP was an NDA constituent till about a month ago.