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Adhir’s 3.5-lakh victory margin

May 16: Adhir Chowdhury won by the biggest margin in Bengal in this Lok Sabha polls as the Congress retained four seats and increased its vote share by 9.7 per cent.

Adhir, the state Congress chief credited with holding onto one of the last party bastions in Bengal in the face of a Trinamul onslaught in the rest of the state, won the Behrampore seat by a margin of 3,56, 567 votes.

Adhir also aided the victory of the Congress candidate in the neighbouring Jangipur seat, President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit. Abhijit defeated the CPM’s Muzaffar Hossain by a margin of 8,161 votes. He had won the 2012 by-election by a slender margin of 2,536 votes.

Besides Behrampore and Jangipur, the Congress retained the Malda North and South constituencies but lost the Murshidabad and Raiganj seats to CPM nominees. Mausam Noor and Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury were re-elected from the Malda North and South seats, respectively.

While Deepa Das Munshi lost the Raiganj seat to the CPM’s Mohammad Salim by a margin of 1,356 votes, Mannan Hossain was trumped by the CPM’s Badruddoza Khan by 19,864 votes.

“We have to find out the reasons for our party nominees’ defeat in Raiganj and Murshidabad, although they lost by slender margins,” Adhir, also the junior railway minister, told reporters at Bidhan Bhavan in Calcutta.

He said the party’s victory in four seats was “no mean achievement” at a time the Left had been “virtually wiped out”.

Asked about his own thumping victory, Adhir said: “The results have vindicated the people’s overwhelming support for me and the Congress.”