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Congress retains Malda, ups winning margin

Malda, May 16: The Congress not only managed to retain its two seats in the Malda district but party candidates Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury and Mausam Noor also won with higher margins this time compared to 2009.

Abu Hasem improved his margin in South Malda from 1.36 lakh to 1.64 lakh votes. His nearest rival was the BJPs Bishnupada Roy. In North Malda, Mausams winning margin increased from 59,000 in 2009 to 66,065 this time. The CPMs Khagen Murmu came second in the tally.

Both Trinamul candidates, Moazzem Hossain from South Malda and Saumitra Ray from North Malda, came third.

After the results were announced, Trinamul district president Sabitri Mitra sent in her resignation to the party leadership.

I take full responsibility for our performance. I have sent my resignation as the district president to the party leadership, she said today.

The Trinamul leadership has said the BJP had eaten into their votes, especially in South Malda.

While it was the second consecutive win for Mausam, Abu Hasem scored a hat trick this time.

Today, Mausam reached the counting centre at Malda College around 8am. She sat there till the seventh round of counting was over around 1pm. Now, I am certain of my victory. I dedicate this win to the people of Malda. But I am feeling sad about the performance of the Congress all over the country. The people have bestowed responsibility on me, Mausam said while leaving the counting centre.

Trinamul debutant Saumitra got 1.79 lakh votes in North Malda. Mausam bagged 3.88 lakh and Khagen Murmu got 3.22 lakh votes.

South Malda Congress candidate Abu Hasem said he was a bit taken aback.

I had not expected to win by such a high margin. My party workers gave me strength. This result proves that the people of Malda have not forsaken the Congress. The rivals had said they would lock up Kotwali. There were personal attacks on me as well. I will serve the people of my constituency with all sincerity. The BJP will form the government at the Centre with Narendra Modi as the prime minister. I will not approach the BJP but the prime minister to bring development of Malda, he said.

Today, two heavyweight ministers from Trinamul, tourism minister Krishnendu Chowdhury and social welfare minister Sabitri Mitra, were conspicuous by their absence from the counting centres.

The BJP came second in South Malda. I had never imagined that the people would vote for the BJP. There were some internal problems in our party that affected the results. I will submit a report to the party leadership, Mitra said today.

Krishnendu said he was upset with the outcome and the BJP was a factor for the poor Trinamul show in Malda.

I cannot believe that the people of Englishbazar who voted me to the Assembly six months ago voted for the BJP this time. It was very disturbing to see that in the Englishbazar municipal area, the BJP led in 24 of the 25 wards and the CPM in the remaining one, he said.

Trinamul candidates said they were disappointed with the results.

I wanted to dedicate the win to Mamata Banerjee. We will keep working to make ourselves strong in the district, said Moazzem Hossain after the South Malda results were announced.

Saumitra said he had not expected this result. I had never thought that the results would be so poor. I never felt any Ghani Khan (late A.B.A. Ghani Khan Choudhury) wave in North Malda. The results of all the Assembly segments would be sent to the chief minister and she will decide what to do next. I do not want to say much except that I thank the party workers who campaigned for me tirelessly.