KOLKATA: 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.
The convincing victory of TMC candidate Mamatabala Thakur in the Bongaon (SC) Lok Sabha seat with a margin of more than 2,11,794 votes came as a big relief for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the bypoll was dubbed as a prestige fight after state minister Manjul Krishna Thakur quit here government and the party and joined BJP.
Manjul had accusing the TMC led-government of not doing enough for the Matua community, which forms a major chunk of the electorate in the constituency.
While Mamatabala Thakur secured 5,39,990 votes, her nearest rival CPI(M)'s Debesh Das received 3,28,196 votes Manjul's son Subrata Thakur, who was BJP's candidate in Bongaon Lok Sabha seat, secured 3,14,119 votes.
The Congress stood fourth in this constituency.
The party retained Krishnaganj assembly seat by a margin of 37,033 votes with its candidate Satyajit Biswas securing 95,469 votes.
Biswas defeated his BJP rival Manabendra Roy, who secured 58,436 votes. The CPI(M) was relegated to the third position with 37,620 votes in contrast to the second position it held in the last assembly elections.
Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee termed the results as "a miracle" and said the party is "intact and strong".
The Chief Minister, who was speaking to the media while touring Purulia district, 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".
In Bongaon, the Trinamool Congress substantially increased its victory margin compared to 2014 when it had won by 1,46000 votes. There was also a rise in the party's vote in Krishnaganj seat.
The bypoll results also assume significance ahead of this years's elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and about 80 municipalities across the state and the assembly polls to be held next year.