June 15: Trinamul today won the Bankura and Daspur Assembly bypolls but its margin of victory over the CPM narrowed over the 2011 polls.
While the CPM claimed the results showed that the people in rural areas were returning to the party fold, Trinamul refused to read too much into the reduced margins.
In Bankura town, Trinamul candidate Minati Mishra defeated the CPM’s Nilanjan Dasgupta by 15,138 votes. In West Midnapore’s Daspur, Trinamul’s Mamata Bhuniya trumped the CPM’s Samar Mukherjee by 18,928 votes. The bypolls were necessitated by the deaths of the husbands of Minati and Mamata.
In Daspur, Trinamul’s vote share came down to 51.02 per cent from 54.76 per cent, while in Bankura, the party polled 49.66 per cent votes against 53.93 per cent last year.
Asked about the reduced margin, Minati said: “Many of my voters, particularly women, did not cast their ballots because joymangalbar (a religious event) fell on that day (June 12).”
CPM candidate Dasgupta said the result was a reflection of the people’s “disenchantment” with Trinamul. “A section of people who traditionally voted for Trinamul cast their ballots in our favour this time. This is because they are disenchanted with Trinamul.”
The CPM’s vote share in Bankura has gone up from 37.03 per cent last year to 39.35 per cent this time.
Daspur CPM candidate Mukherjee said: “The results show that the people in the rural areas have begun returning to our fold.”
CPM West Midnapore secretariat member Meghnath Bhuniya suggested his party could have done better had the BJP not eaten into the Left’s votes. “In 2011, the BJP had got 1 per cent votes, but this time, the party got 4 per cent.”
A Trinamul block secretary in Daspur put the blame on the Congress. “The Congress did not cooperate with us. We did not get all the anti-Left votes because of this,” he said. A local Congress leader said Trinamul did not invite his party to campaign.
Election commission officials said less number of people voted this time than last year.
First win in UP
Trinamul won its first Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh today. The party’s Pandit Shyam Sundar Sharma won the Mant bypoll in Mathura by a margin of 7,798 votes. Both the Samajwadi Party and Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal were in the race. The victory is being credited to Sharma’s popularity, not the party.
Samajwadi national spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary congratulated Mamata Banerjee for the victory.