The ruling Trinamool Congress on Wednesday won by-elections to two wards in civic bodies in West Bengal amid allegations by the opposition BJP of electoral malpractices.
TMC candidate Bidhan Upadhyay bagged ward number six of Asansol Municipal Corporation in Paschim Bardhaman district by 5,475 votes. The TMC secured 6,683 votes, CPI(M) 1,208 and BJP 485, State Election Commission Secretary Nilanjan Shandilya said.
Papai Raha, the party’s nominee in ward number 14 of Bongaon Municipality in North 24 Parganas district won by 2,118 votes. The TMC got 2,842 votes, BJP 724 and CPI(M) 332.
The by-election in Bongaon was necessitated following the death of TMC councillor Dilip Das, while in Asansol, it was because of resignation of elected TMC councillor Sanjay Chakrabarty.
The by-elections were held on August 21. “The results are on expected lines. They show that despite sustained campaign by a section of the media and propaganda by the BJP, the people of West Bengal are on the side of the TMC and have faith in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and our party national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee. No amount of conspiracy will succeed in dislodging her from power,” TMC spokesperson Jai Prakash Majumder said.
The BJP, however, claimed the results did not reflect the “real situation”.
“In Bidhannanagar Municipal Corporation elections last year, I had apparently met my dead parents at my polling booth as both of them had cast votes despite having died earlier. The TMC has perfected the art of false voting and rigging and it takes place in every election under the nose of the SEC, which has become a stooge of the state government with no real autonomy or courage to conduct free and fair elections,” BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya told PTI.
“Public anger is mounting against the TMC after the seizure of a huge amount of cash from the residence of an associate of an arrested former minister, and the arrest of another party strongman. The civic by-election results do not reflect the real situation. But the panchayat polls next year, and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections will be different,” he added.
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