Following the setback in Maharashtra, giving a severe shock to BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool has bagged all three seats in the bypoll elections in Bengal on Thursday. While Trinamool Congress (TMC) retained the Karimpur seat, it has wrested both Kharagpur (Sadar) and Kaliaganj Assembly seats for the first time with margins of 20,811 and 2304 votes respectively.
"This is a victory in favour of secularism and unity. It is a mandate against the NRC. The BJP is getting paid back by its arrogance of power and insulting the people of the state. People, who were misled in the Lok Sabha elections, have rejected the BJP. The people, irrespective of their caste, creed and groups, voted for us,’’ said Mamata.
Leaders from both the Trinamool and BJP admitted that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) issue played a crucial role in the by-elections. In a bid to consolidate the Hindu votes, the Bengal BJP highlighted the NRC issue and Mamata, too, used it as a political tool to combat the saffron camp’s inroads in the state.
Losing Kharagpur (Sadar) seat is said to be a massive blow to the saffron camp as the BJP state president Dilip Ghosh was elected from the constituency in the 2016 Assembly polls. Moreover, BJP had secured a lead of 45,000 votes from here in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The defeat in Kaliaganj seat in north Bengal is also being considered a major setback for BJP as the Union minister and MP from Raiganj Debasree Chaudhury had bagged a lead of more than 56,000 votes from this constituency in the Lok Sabha polls.
BJP’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, blamed the results of the byelection as a reflection of Trinamool’s misrule in Bengal.
The Left-Congress alliance did not work in the byelections as it failed to secure even second position in the three constituencies. "We agreed for the alliance shortly before the byelections. In the Lok Sabha polls, the people rejected the Trinamool. In the byelections, they rejected the BJP. It is clear that neither the BJP nor Trinamool is their choice. In the future, we will get the people’s support," said CPI(M)’s central committee member Sujan Chakrabarty.