Mamata Banerjee beats BJP candidate in Bhabanipur; retains CM seat
Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee won the by-poll from the Bhabanipur Assembly constituency in West Bengal. With this, Banerjee has managed to retain her position as the West Bengal Chief Minister. Banerjee won by a margin of over 50,000 votes, as predicted by the TMC earlier, beating her rival from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Priyanka Tibrewal. Here are more details.
'We're winning at Shamsherganj and Jangipur as well
Banerjee won by a record margin of 58,832 votes in Bhabanipur. After her victory, she flashed three fingers, signifying her poll slogan: 'Ma, Mati, Manush'. "We're winning at Shamsherganj and Jangipur as well," she said, referring to the two other constituencies where by-polls were held on September 30. "What is most heart-warming is, I have not lost in a single ward in the constituency."
'Victory against conspiracy in Nandigram'
"I lost in Nandigram but the matter is in court," Banerjee further said, adding that her Bhabanipur win is a victory against the "conspiracy" hatched to defeat her in Nandigram. Banerjee had lost to confidant-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari in the 2021 Assembly elections.
TMC leading in 2 other constituencies
The TMC is also leading Samserganj and Jangipur, where by-polls were held after the deaths of two legislators. TMC's Amirul Islam is leading by 3,768 votes from Samserganj after the fifth round of counting, data from the Election Commission showed. The party's Jakir Hossain is leading by 15,643 votes from Jangipur after the second round of counting.
BJP says candidate put up 'very good fight'
Against Banerjee, the BJP had fielded a 41-year-old lawyer and the party's youth wing leader named Priyanka Tibrewal. She also currently serves as a national spokesperson for the BJP. Ahead of the results, the saffron party had said that she put up a "very good fight." Tibrewal had gained popularity as one of the petitioners in the post-poll violence case against Banerjee's government.
Why is the Bhabanipur election significant?
During the 2021 West Bengal Assembly election, Banerjee lost from Nandigram to Adhikari. The TMC won the election and Banerjee retained her CM seat, provided she is elected to the state legislature within six months. The Bhabanipur seat—Banerjee's home turf—was then vacated by Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, making way for the by-poll to be conducted to ensure that Banerjee would remain CM.