Trinamool Congress (TMC) achieved a clean sweep in the Assembly by-elections winning all the three seats. TMC emerged victorious in all the poll-bound constituencies of Kharagpur Sadar, Karimpur and Kaliaganj leaving BJP red-faced.
With the exception of Karimpur TMC has never won in Kharagpur and Kaliaganj. TMC’s victory in Kharagpur Sadar resulted into a major embarrassment for state BJP president Dilip Ghosh who was the sitting MLA from the constituency till he became an MP in the Lok Sabha elections.
TMC candidate Pradip Sarkar defeated his nearest rival BJP’s Premchandra Jha with a margin of 20,788 votes in Kharagpur Sadar. The loss came as a major shock to BJP as just six months ago it got a lead of 56,762 votes from the constituency in the Lok Sabha elections. It also won the seat in the 2016 Assembly elections with a margin of 6309 votes.
The ruling party in the state also bagged the Kaliaganj Assembly seat. TMC candidate Tapan Deb Singha defeated his nearest rival BJP’s Kamal Chandra Sarkar in a close contest with a margin of 2414 votes. BJP had a lead of 56,762 votes from Kaliaganj in the Lok Sabha elections.
TMC candidate Bimalendu Sinha Roy trounced his nearest rival BJP Jayprakash Majumdar in Karimpur Assembly seat with a comfortable margin of 24129 Karimpur is a stronghold of TMC which got a lead of nearly 14,000 votes in the Lok Sabha elections. TMC also won the in the 2016 Assembly elections.
Reacting to the development West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that “BJP suffered the consequences of their arrogance of power.”
“BJP has suffered the consequences of their arrogance of power. They paid dearly for insulting people,” said Banerjee.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said that perhaps unlike the Lok Sabha elections TMC’s votes did not swing in favour of Bjp in the by-elections.
Several factors led to TMC’s success in the by-elections. First, in Kaliaganj and Karimpur which had a substantial number of minority voters as well as voters who came to India after the Partition. The panic over NRC fueled by off-handed remarks of several state BJP leaders became a key factor to TMC’s victory.
As for TMC’s success in the prestige fight against BJP in Kharagpur Sadar, the faction feud in the saffron party and consequent weakening of its organisation played a key role.
TMC’s victory in Karimpur, however, was rather expected as the party achieved resounding success both in the Lok Sabha and the 2016 Assembly elections from the constituency.
The Left-Congress alliance drew a blank in the Assembly by-elections.