KOLKATA: Buoyed by the win in the by-poll in both Bongaon Lok Sabha and Krishnaganj Assembly seats, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee today termed it "a miracle" and said the party is "intact and strong".
Banerjee, who was speaking to the media while touring Purulia district for a government programme, said the results were people's "Rejection of the conspiracy by Delhi and a slanderous campaign by the BJP and a section of the media".
"I salute Maa, Mati, Manush. I salute our workers. This is people's magic. This is a miracle," she said.
Trinamool Congress today retained both Bongaon Lok Sabha and Krishnaganj Assembly seats with huge margins in the bypolls seen as a litmus test for its popularity in the wake of CBI arresting several of its leaders in Saradha scam and murmurs of dissidence.
"It is a number one strong party in the world. No one can divide TMC and if any individual (airs his opinion) they have the prerogative. But the party remains strong and united and this is our collective family," Banerjee said.
Apparently referring to BJP's humiliating defeat in Delhi polls and also the saffron party failing to make much headway in the by-poll in West Bengal, she said, "The verdict of the people in the country was a reflection that they are for secularism, integration and development."
Referring to the massive victory margins recorded by TMC candidates, particularly in the Bongaon seat, a predominantly rural constituency adjoining Bangladesh, she said, "It was not our expectation also that they (TMC candidates) will get so many votes. People really...have just bowled out (the opposition)."
On being asked about Mukul Roy, the party MP with whom she reportedly had differences, Banerjee shot back saying, "Direct your question to my party's block President".
When a reporter sought to know whether TMC was witnessing any turmoil within, Banerjee reiterated, "No turmoil. "Our party is intact".
"One has to work in the grassroots for people, instead of just making big talk in TV studios," Banerjee said apparently alluding to opposition leaders.
When asked if the Saradha controversery did not have any adverse impact on the party in the by-poll, Banerjee again maintained, "There was conspiracy from Delhi. The BJP and a section of media launched a smear campaign against us. Despite the propaganda, people have spoken".
"Our vote (in Bongaon Lok Sabha seat) has increased. In May, we had won by a margin of 1,47,000 votes," she said referring to the victory margin of 2,11,794 votes of her canidate Mamata Bala Thakur over her nearest CPI(M) rival and former IT minister in Left Front government Debesh Das, this time.
On Mamata Bala Thukur's victory, she said, "Others talk about 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament. Out of 34 TMC MPs in LS, we have 35.2 per cent women MPs".
"Congratulations to the people. I salute them," Banerjee said.
She had not campaigned in the by-election, leaving the job to her party lieutenants including nephew Abhishek Banerjee, MP in Bongaon Lok Sabha seat, said.
"We thank the Election Commission for conducting peaceful elections where voters could express themselves freely", she said.