Kolkata: Actor Shatrughan Sinha was firing on all cylinders as he won the Asansol Lok Sabha seat for the TMC, polling more votes than former BJP MP Babul Supriyo.
It was no mean achievement given that this is the first time TMC has wrested the seat after coming to power in 2011.
More than anything it was the margin of victory that bore Sinha’s imprint – he trounced BJP’s Agnimitra Paul by 3,03,209 votes. For the record, this is one lakh more than what Babul had mustered in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Another bit of trivia: Sinha got 56.62 % votes, as against 30.46 per cent votes of Agnimitra. Profusely thanking Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for giving him the break, Sinha came up with his signature catchphrase: ‘‘Khamosh BJP.’’ Warming up to his theme, he said: ‘‘Mamata didi’s wish is our command. This is a historical moment and the victory is not just of the TMC but also of the people.’’
From 1989 to 2014, the Asansol Lok Sabha seat belonged to the CPI (M)m after which BJP’s former Union Minister Babul Supriyo had won the seat twice in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Before CPI (M), the Congress held the seat but it was also with the Left Front between 1971 and 1980. Accepting the defeat, BJP candidate Agnimitra Paul said that the ‘mandate’ of the people should be accepted.
“Sorry @narendramodi Sir…I tried my best but couldn’t give you this seat…My war is to save democracy in West Bengal. Democracy has been murdered in the state. My war is on, Sir,” said the fashion designer-turned-politician.
Congratulating Sinha, former Asansol MP Babul Supriyo claimed that he along with Sinha will work for Asansol as he knows Asansol very well.
State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar claimed that the BJP will win back the seat in 2024 Lok Sabha election.
Congress, BJP forfeit deposits in Ballygunge
In the Ballygunge Assembly segment, Trinamool's Babul Supriyo, who had crossed over from the BJP, won against all odds.
The by-election was necessitated by the death of state minister Subrata Mukherjee. The BJP had fielded Keya Ghosh while Saira Shah Halim was the CPM candidate. With that, the Left has stepped out of the rubble and become the main opposition in the constituency, pushing the BJP in a distant third position. In fact, both the BJP and Congress candidates have forfeited their deposits.
TMC’s Babul Supriyo won the Ballygunge seat by over 20,000 votes; Left Front’s Saira Shah Halim, who happens to be the niece of actor Naseeruddin Shah, secured 30,940 votes. In two wards, CPI (M) had taken the lead and TMC was a straggler. Former Union Minister Babul Supriyo, after winning the seat, said that the victory was one of ‘Ma, Mati and Manush’. “The CPI (M) and the BJP did everything to defeat the TMC. Those who had tried to malign Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by levelling false allegations have got their just desserts. I dedicate the victory to TMC Supremo Mamata didi,” said Babul.
Halim claimed that the result was a ‘morale victory’ for the CPI (M).
After the outcome, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee offered prayers at Kalighat temple and said that the results were a ‘gift’ on Bengal’s New Year.