BJP faces defeat as Trinamool Congress wins big in West Bengal By-elections

The recent West Bengal by-poll elections saw Trinamool Congress winning all the three seats in Karimpur, Kaliyaganj and Kharagpur Sadar, completely defeating its strongest opposition BJP. Many consider it as a litmus test for the upcoming 2021 battle.

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TMC Victory rally

The ruling party of West Bengal, Trinamool Congress, recently received an unprecedented victory as it won all the three seats in the assembly by-elections. TMC bagged the seats in the district of Kaliyagunj, Kharagpur and Karimpur after defeating their strongest opposition, the

Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), with a score of 3:0.

TMC’s Tapan Deb Sinha faced strong competition from BJP’s Kamal Chandra Sarkar and won by a close margin of 2,418 votes in Kaliaganj. Paramathan Roy of All India National Congress was elected as the MLA in the last assembly election. The seat fell vacant following his death and his daughter, Dhritashree Roy, was nominated for the position from Congress, supported by CPI (M); she finished third in the elections. The Kaliaganj assembly falls under the Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency that is held by the BJP.


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Meanwhile, the seat at Karimpur was empty as Mahua Moitra of TMC was elected as the MP of Krishnanagar during the Lok Sabha elections. The TMC stronghold in Karimpur has always been remarkable with the party leading with over 14,000 votes during the Lok Sabha polls. The by-elections were no different from TMC‘s Bimalendu Sinha Roy emerging victorious with a lead of 23,650 votes defeating Jay Prakash Majumdar, the vice president of BJP in West Bengal. The Karimpur assembly is under the Murshidabad constituency which also has Trinamool Congress ruling the Lok Sabha seat.

TMC’s most prominent victory in the by-polls is considered to be the winner in Kharagpur Sadar. The state president of BJP, Dilip Ghosh, was earlier elected as the MP of Midnapore duringthe Lok Sabha elections for which the seat of MLA at Kharagpur was vacated. However, in the by-elections, BJP’s Premchandra Jha was comfortably defeated by TMC’s Pradip Sarkar with a large margin of 20,811 votes. This particular defeat stated that BJP failed to retain the seat they won.

The by-poll elections also marked the very first time that Trinamool Congress won the seat at Kharagpur Sadar, thus creating history as past records fail to account any ruling party winning the Kharagpur seat since 1977.

The Kharagpur constituency voted for Congress’ Gyan Singh Sohanpal for 10consecutive years before BJP’s Dilip Ghosh defeated him to win the seat in 2016.

TMC victory rally

The by-poll election in West Bengal was held on the 25 November 2019. The total number of voters amounted to approximately seven lakh individuals. Amongst them, around 78 per cent cast their votes in the by-elections. The polling in Karimpur was marred by an incident of violence as BJP candidate Jay Prakash Majumdar was manhandled and kicked on the road. The attack was allegedly carried out by the TMC workers but the ruling party completely denied any involvement in the incident. No record of any major injury in Majumdar was reported as he landed in the roadside bushes.

The process of counting of votes for the by-poll election began as early as 8 am on Thursday, 20 November 2019. By late afternoon, TMC was largely leading in all the three assemblies and by 4:30 pm in the evening, the party was officially declared victorious.

While the freshly elected MLAs lauded the Chief Minister for their win, Mamata Banerjee credited the people of West Bengal for the victory. ‘Every credit of this victory goes to the Maa-Mati-Manush of Bengal. We dedicate this victory to the people of West Bengal. This victory is for the unity, peace, integrity, culture and secularity of Bengal. I am thankful to the people of the state for showcasing their faith and belief on us once again. The responsibilities have only increased; we have to humbly stand up for the people of Bengal and work even further towards their betterment. The by-poll results have proved that people of West Bengal continues to stand with us. The BJP is getting paid back for its arrogance of power and politics’, Banerjee said in a statement to a TV channel.


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Ahead of the 2021 state elections, the by-polls are seen as a litmus test for the TMC and the BJP. With the recent Ayodhya verdict evoking mixed reactions from different quarters, it is the pitch to establish a nationwide NRC exercise that seems to have a great influence over the latest election results in Bengal.

While the Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, is confident about carrying out the NRC exercise across the entire country, Mamata Banerjee’s government continues to strongly oppose the proposal.

Previously, the Lok Sabha elections this year saw BJP standing strong as TMC’s biggest opposition in the state of West Bengal by winning a total of 18 seats out of 42, a number less by only 4 seats from that of the ruling party. However, with the results of the by-polls, TMC seems to have taken a step towards gaining back the significant losses faced by the party earlier. These by-poll elections have also been noticed by the humiliating failure for CPI (M) and Congress pre-poll alliance in the state. Besides West Bengal, by-poll elections were also held in Uttarakhand where BJP emerged victorious by retaining the seat at Pithoragarh.