Mamata Banerjee on Dhupguri bypoll result

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee described her party’s win in the Dhupguri bypolls on Friday as a “victory of the people”. The ruling TMC wrested the Dhupguri seat from the BJP.

She congratulated candidates for defeating the BJP in the bypolls in four seats in various states saying it was a big win for the INDIA coalition. The BJP lost in Dumri (Jharkhand), Puthuppally (Kerala), Ghosi (Uttar Pradesh) and Dhupguri, the ECI said.

“Dhupguri is a big win. The seat was with the BJP. It’s a historic win and I congratulate all the people of Dhupguri. This is a win of the people,” Banerjee told reporters at the city airport before leaving for New Delhi.

At the national capital, Banerjee will attend President Droupadi Murmu’s G20 dinner invitation on Saturday.

“I would like to congratulate all those who beat the BJP to win the bypolls. The BJP has lost four bypolls out of the seven held on September 5. This is a big win for INDIA. I want people to take such decisions slowly,” she said.

“I thank the people of Dhupguri for reposing faith in us and voting decisively in our favour in the critical by-election to the Assembly constituency. People in North Bengal have been with us and trust our strategy of growth, inclusiveness and empowerment. Bengal has shown its mandate, and soon INDIA too will show its preference. Jai Bangla!” she posted on X.

TMC candidate Nirmal Chandra Roy, a college professor, won the seat by over 4,313 votes. He bagged 96,961 votes, while his nearest rival BJP’s Tapasi Roy, the widow of a CRPF jawan killed in a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir in 2021, got 92,648 votes, the ECI said.

With this victory, the TMC’s tally went up to 217 in the 294-member assembly. It also enjoys the support of six BJP MLAs, who switched over to the ruling party but are yet to resign from the House.

“Thank you #Dhupguri, for embracing the politics of development over hatred and bigotry. Saluting every AITC worker for their tireless efforts in connecting with the people. We’re committed to leaving no stone unturned in ensuring Dhupguri’s all-round development,” TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee posted on X.

Banerjee had promised to make Dhupguri a “sub-division” by December this year.

Senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim slammed the Congress and the Left for campaigning against Bengal’s ruling party despite being alliance partners in the INDIA opposition bloc, an opposition front formed to take on the BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls.

“We are against the BJP and have been constantly fighting against them. But the Congress and the Left are fighting and campaigning against us and trying to help the BJP in Bengal,” he said.

The BJP had snatched the seat from the TMC, which it had won twice since 2011, in the 2021 assembly polls.

Holding that an opposition party has only a slender chance to win a bypolls, the CPI(M) said it will review the Dhupguri bypoll results and take necessary steps to strengthen its organisation in north Bengal.

CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty claimed that anti-BJP feeling is increasingly gaining strength countrywide.

“An opposition party candidate has only a slender chance to win a bypoll as the ruling party has an advantage,” he said.

Admitting weakness in organisational strength in the assembly constituency, Chakraborty said, “We will review the result and take necessary steps.” CPI(M) candidate Ishwar Chandra Roy received 13,758 votes, around 600 more than what the party got in the seat in 2021 assembly polls. The bypoll was necessitated owing to the demise of the BJP MLA.

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