Calcutta: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee secured her post after recording a record-breaking victory at home in Bhabanipur on Sunday, with a margin of 58,832 votes. This is far more than Banerjee’s record for 2011 victories in the Assembly constituency with 54,000 votes.
“We got a massive mandate this election, but there was a little hitch. I know how they (BJP) conspired. I would not comment on Nandigram’s results as they are currently pending. But the people of Bhabanipur leveled it. I feel happy, ”said Banerjee, announcing his victory at his residence.
“This is the first time that we are not hanging out in any of the eight halls. This seat has about 46% of the non-Bengali population. But this time everyone – Hindus and Muslims, Bengalis and non-Bengalis – trusted Trinamool. I am grateful, “she added. Trinamool also won the Jangipur and Samserganj assembly seats in Murshidabad.
The BJP leadership in the state, meanwhile, defended its defeat by alleging that the Indian Election Commission had failed to create an environment conducive to encouraging voters to vote in Bhabanipur.
“In the midst of such intimidation, threats and torture, our candidate obtains 25,000 votes. This is no small feat for us. Bhabanipur is the original constituency of Mamata Banerjee. She put her administration and all the police to work. There have been unprecedented rigging and the ECI could ensure the safety of our leaders and candidates, ”BJP MP Arjun Singh, who was in charge of the Bhabanipur poll, told ThePrint.
The violence seen in Bengal after the April parliamentary elections was at the heart of the BJP’s polling campaign, but election results indicate that the campaign did not influence the electorate.
The party also nominated lawyer Priyanka Tibrewal, who fought the case of post-election violence in the Calcutta High Court and also succeeded in getting the CBI to investigate the case.
And yet, the BJP’s vote share has fallen by almost half in five months. In the assembly poll, the BJP garnered 45,000 votes but only managed to get 25,000 in the secondary poll.
According to Tibrewal, the party needs to work more on the organization.
“We all know how the cabins were rigged. We caught so many foreigners posing as voters and they were helped by the police. We have to work a lot on our organization, but I have to say that the Trinamool organization is full of cheaters and thugs, ”she said, addressing the media after the results.
Read also : Things have changed because of her ‘- Why Bhabanipur voted for Mamata Banerjee since 2011
“The reaffirmed faith of the voters in Didi”
Senior Trinamool Congress leaders, meanwhile, called it a “reaffirmation of the faith of all voters in Didi” and said the party has proven to be attractive to non-Bengali voters as well.
“The Indian people must now understand that Mamata Banerjee is the only fearful face against Modi, as support for him appears to be absolute and total among all, regardless of religion and language,” said senior leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy at ThePrint.
Trinamool leaders also noted that the outcome will motivate leaders and workers inside and outside Bengal.
“Workers and supporters will feel emboldened by the results. It will help them work and connect better with people in the United States, where we haven’t made a mark yet, ”Roy said.
However, the poll result could spark another round of defections from the BJP, party officials say.
“It may trigger more defections, but these opportunists would jump ships anyway. If an MP like Babul Supriyo, who was central minister for seven years, can defect in four months after losing a cabinet seat, then there are so many small politicians who are ready to be with the ruling party after the elections. 2019 results, many such Trinamool MPs joined us, and now they want to go back. we are not worried about it, ”said former BJP state president and MP Dilip Ghosh.
On the post-election violence having no bearing on the results, Ghosh said, “The post-election violence has helped them win this big. Our voters did not even come to vote. In the neighborhoods, where we were stronger, only 14-19% of people voted. But, in their strong neighborhoods, more than 80 percent of the votes were cast. “
“So post-ballot violence obviously has an impact, but it’s the other way around. She succeeded in scaring voters and the electoral commission failed to provide security. The ECI was completely inactive when leaders like myself and Arjun Singh were attacked. We didn’t find any central force there, ”he told ThePrint.
Read also : Sat Sri Akal, Inshallah, Joy Durga – how Mamata’s speeches change with locality in Bhabanipur
Why the news media is in crisis and how to fix it
India is all the more in need of free, fair, uninhibited and questioning journalism as it is facing multiple crises.
But the news media are in a crisis of their own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, giving in to crass spectacle in prime time.
ThePrint employs the best young reporters, columnists and editors. Supporting journalism of this quality requires smart, thoughtful people like you to pay the price. Whether you live in India or abroad, you can do it here.
Support our journalism