Buoyed by Trinamool Congress victory in the Howrah Lok Sabha by-election in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said her party did not require Congress and through their verdict, people have given a message to go it alone.
"Congress requires us. We don't need Congress. The people in Howrah have given the message that we should go alone. Our victory reflected the mahajot (grand alliance) of people against all immoral alliance. Our's was a solo fight. It ushered in a new arithmetic, a new chapter," Banerjee told reporters after TMC candidate Prasun Banerjee's victory.
In the bye-election to the Jangipur Lok Sabha seat, which was vacated by Pranab Mukherjee, TMC did not field its candidate, "but Congress had fielded its candidate in Howrah," she said.
Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee had won Jangipur by a slender margin.
Coming to the by-elections in other states, Banerjee said, "Congress is zero everywhere. Left also has no existence. If I understand politics, the bypoll result also indicate that despite hobnobbing with Congress, Left will be zero."
Banerjee said, "The Left will be left out. It cannot survive by hobnobbing sometime with Congress and sometime with BJP."
Congress had a pocket of influence at Sankrail, an Assembly segment in the Howrah Lok Sabha seat, and voters there switched loyalty to the CPI-M, she said.
Turning to the withdrawal of the BJP candidate in Howrah, she said, two independent candidates supported by BJP were in the fray. BJP's votes also went to the CPI-M, she claimed.
Referring to the TMC candidate's reduced victory margin in Howrah, she argued that in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections there was 77 per cent turnout of voters while in this bye-election it was around 68 per cent.
Many voters, who worked outside the state, were absent on the polling day while hot weather was not conducive, she said.
"Yet, we secured 46 per cent votes and our candidate won by a margin of around 28,000 votes," she noted and said Congress bagged 10 per cent votes.
She said that this bye-election should not be equated with other elections; it had a different perspective.
"It was a tough fight for us. We were fighting alone. Lots of canards were hurled against us, yet I maintained silence.
The people have given their reply".
"During the Left Front rule, the people could not exercise their democratic rights. We won not through rigging, but people have exercised their franchise freely," she asserted.
Asked if the Saradha chit fund scam had any impact on the by-poll, she said, "Chit funds had flourished during the Left Front rule even before our party was formed. Chit fund companies appeared during Jyoti Bau's tenure and flourished during the tenure of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee".
She expressed confidence that after the victory in Howrah, TMC would do well in the coming panchayat election.