TMC scripts record win
Kolkata: The ruling Trinamool Congress has secured a record victory at the Maheshtala Assembly by-poll with the party nominee Dulal Das getting 1,04,818 votes, defeating his nearest rival of the BJP Sujit Ghosh by 62,657 votes.
The by-election was necessitated following the death of sitting MLA and Dulal's spouse Kasturi Das. The latter had defeated Shamik Lahiri of the CPI(M) by 12,457 votes in 2016 Assembly elections. The by-election was held on May 28 and over 70 percent votes had been polled. There are 2,67,600 voters in the Maheshtala Assembly constituency.
Meanwhile, Sujit Ghosh of the BJP bagged 42,053 votes beating Prabhat Chowdhury of the CPI(M) who got 30,384 votes. There was an alliance between the Congress and CPI(M) in the by-poll.
The Election Commission of India had deployed 12 companies of the Central forces. There was not a single untoward incident, and even the Opposition did not lodge any complaint with the EC.
Congratulating the people for voting Dulal Das, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said it was a victory of the masses. "There were more CRPF personnel than the voters. Canards had been levelled against the Trinamool but braving all odds, the people voted for the party. I express my humble gratitude."
Abhishek Banerjee, Trinamool Congress MP and president of the party's youth wing said people had their faith in the development work carried out by Mamata Banerjee despite the series of canards circulated by the Opposition.
The Maheshtala Assembly segment is a part of Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat from where Abhishek Banerjee was elected in 2014. Partha Chatterjee, Trinamool Congress secretary general, dedicated the victory to Ma, Mati, Manush.
Firhad Hakim, state Urban Development minister said: "I knew that Dulalda would win by over 50,000 votes ."
Maheshtala, originally a CPI(M) stronghold, came under the Trinamool Congress in 2016. But, over the years, the CPI(M) lost the connection with the masses, and there was massive erosion in the vote bank that paved the way for the BJP's penetration in the area. To win the by-election, the BJP left no stone unturned. The Trinamool leaders alleged that the BJP had told BPL cardholders that they would be given gas connections if they voted for their candidate.