Winds Of Change In Bengal, Trinamool Wins 7 Seats, CPI-M Draws Blank

Riding the winds of change, Trinamool Congress and ally Congress on Tuesday bagged 8 of the 10 seats in the assembly bypolls in West Bengal, handing out another humiliating defeat to Left Front major, CPI(M),
winds of change in bengal trinamool wins 7 seats...
PTI November 11, 2009 9:19 IST

Riding the winds of change, Trinamool Congress and ally Congress on Tuesday bagged 8 of the 10 seats in the assembly bypolls in West Bengal, handing out another humiliating defeat to Left Front major, CPI(M), which drew a blank.

Trinamool Congress, which fielded candidates in seven seats, made a clean sweep winning all of them. Congress, which contested three, won only one when it retained Sujapur assembly seat in Malda.

Even the red citadel of Belgachia East in the metropolis, represented since 1977 by former Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty, crumbled before a resurgent Trinamool Congress.

TC candidate Sujit Bose wrested it by a record 28,360 votes from CPI(M)'s Ramala Chakraborty, the widow of the former minister.

The party also set foot in North Bengal with Trinamool candidate Khageswar Ray wresting the Rajgunj seat by 15,029 votes from CPI(M) which had fielded Dhanapati Ray.

For the CPI(M)-led ruling Left Front, Forward Bloc's victory in the Congress stronghold of Goalpokhar was the only consolation as as all other partners including CPI-M lost.

CPI-M had fielded candidates in five seats and LF partners CPI in two, RSP in one, Forward Bloc one and DSP one.

"It is a victory of democracy and peace. It is also a victory of Ma, Mati, Manush (mother, land and people)," TC chief Mamata Banerjee told PTI.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee declined to comment on the Left Front's rout.

"No,", Bhattacharjee shot back when reporters questioned him at the Writers Buildings about the debacle.

 Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu, who had made an unprecedented appeal to the Congress to vote for the Left in the bypolls, was not informed about the debacle.

 "He was not informed about the election results. What does he have to say about it now?" the 96-year-old Marxist veteran's aide Joykrishna Ghosh said when asked.

The seven seats won by TC are Alipur, Serampore, Bongaon, Egra, Contai South, Rajgunj and Belgachia East.

TC's ally Congress lost the Goalpokhar seat represented earlier by Deepa Dasmunahi, wife of former union minister P R Dasmunshi.

In Alipur, an assembly segment of Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's Kolkata South Lok Sabha constituency, TC candidate Firhad Hakim won by 27,555 votes, defeating CPI(M)'s Kaustav Chatterjee.

TC candidate Gopal Seth won the Bongaon seat by a huge margin of 44,338 votes, defeating Pankaj Ghose of CPI-M. TC had won the seat in 2006 by 3,400 votes.

In East Midnapore district where Nandigram falls, TC retained the Contai South and Egra seats.

Dibyendu Adhikari, son of union minister Sisir Adhikari, won the Contai South defeating Satyendra Nath Panda of CPI-M by over 24,000 votes, while Samaresh Chandra Das of TC bagged Egra trouncing former minister and Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) nominee Prabodh Chandra Sinha.

Trinamool candidate Sudipta Roy won the Serampore seat beating Prasanta Mukherjee of CPI by over 29,000 votes.

The Kalchini seat in Jalpaiguri in North Bengal sprang a surprise as it returned Wilson Champamari, an independent backed by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. She defeated another independent Sandip Ekka by 6,035 votes.

RSP which had won the seat in 2006 came third, while Congress finished fourth.

 While by-election was necessitated in nine constituencies after sitting MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha, the Belgachia (East) seat fell vacant due to the death of former transport minister Subhas Chakraborty. PTI

 
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