The ruling Trinamool Congress on Thursday swept the bypoll to Maheshtala Assembly seat, increasing its victory margin by five times — from 12,452 votes in the 2016 state polls to 62,765 votes this time. While the BJP came a distant second, with its votes increasing from 14,909 to 42,053, votes for the CPM, which was supported by the Congress, dropped from 81,223 to 30,384.
“People are with us. Two years ago, the winning margin was over 12,000, today it is over 60,000. This is despite canards spread against us by the Opposition daily,” West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee told mediapersons in Darjeeling.
“It is a message and a lesson for the regional parties just before the Lok Sabha polls. Despite putting Lalu Prasad behind the bars, RJD won in Bihar, RLD won in Uttar Pradesh, JMM won, Shiv Sena did well, but lost by a narrow margin. As I have said earlier, all regional parties should combine and take on BJP and communal forces. Look at Uttar Pradesh, BJP is losing polls, one after the other, to an alliance. There Mayawati, Akhilesh and others are joining hands. People are not with BJP,” said Banerjee.
Left Front chairman Biman Bose said 25 booths were rigged during the election. “TMC and BJP co-ordinated and rigged those booths and looted the votes. That is why the votes went to them. Our agents were not allowed there,” said Bose.