Mamata Banerjee wins Bhabanipur bypoll by 58,835 votes, says ‘victory over conspiracy against me’

Mamata Banerjee secured 85,263 votes while her nearest rival Tibrewal got 26,428 votes. CPI(M) candidate Srijib Biswas secured 4,201 votes.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday clinched a landslide victory in the bypoll to Bhabanipur Assembly seat in Kolkata, defeating BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal by a margin of 58,835 votes — highest among her three wins from the constituency till date.

Banerjee secured 85,263 votes while her nearest rival Tibrewal got 26,428 votes. CPI(M) candidate Srijib Biswas secured 4,201 votes.

“It is a victory against the conspiracy which was hatched to defeat me from Nandigram. I thank the people of Bhabanipur for giving me such a huge mandate,” Banerjee said after her win. “This is my third victory from Bhabanipur. In 2011, I won the bypoll by a margin of over 54,000 votes. In the 2016 Assembly polls, I had won by a margin of over 26,000 votes. This time the margin has gone over 58,000 votes. So, I have broken my own record,” she said.

After Banerjee lost the April Assembly elections from Nandigram against her protége-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari from BJP, the Bhabanipur seat was vacated for her by state minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay. Chattopadhyay had won the seat by a margin of 28,000-plus votes.

Elaborating on the “conspiracy” against her, Banerjee said, “There has been a lot of conspiracy to defeat me from Nandigram. Even a case is pending (on Nandigram results) at the court. But people have voted against this conspiracy.”

This was also the first time that her party won from all the wards of Bhabanipur. “This is the first time that we have not lost from a single ward in Bhabanipur. About 46 per cent voters here are non-Bengalis. They have cast their votes in a peaceful atmosphere. They have given me the inspiration and new energy to work more for people. We are also winning Jangipur and Samserganj seats,” said Banerjee as she flashed three fingers signifying Trinamool’s victory from all the three seats — Bhabanipur, Jangipur and Samserganj.

Elections to Jangipur and Samserganj in Murshidabad district were held now after the April-May assembly elections there had to be countermanded following the death of two candidates. The TMC won both the Samserganj and Jangipur seat by 26,379 votes and 92,480 votes respectively.

Tibrewal, who was pitted against Banerjee by the saffron party, blamed “fake voters” for BJP’s defeat in Bhabanipur. “If people were allowed to vote, the result would have been different. Even I caught hold of some fake voters on the polling day. In several booths, polls were rigged,” she said while also admitting the need to strengthen her party’s organisation in the constituency. “But I will admit that our organisation was weak in Bhabanipur. We have to improve this,” Tibrewal said after her defeat.

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