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Mamata on the road to Centre

Published : 03 Oct 2021 10:17 PM | Updated : 05 Oct 2021 01:45 PM

Having emerged as the biggest opposition leader after the Trinamool Congress’ triumph in the assembly elections early this year, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is now on the road to the Centre following her landslide victory in the Bhowanipore by-poll.

About Mamata’s overwhelming victory in the Thursday’s by-poll, the headline of  The Times Of India, one of the oldest and most prestigious dailies of India, was “Bhowanipore’s befitting reply: Mamata targets Centre after massive by-poll win”.

The Bhawanipore constituency of Kolkata was a critical one as almost half of the voters of the seat are non-Bengalis. This constituency seems reflect the mentality of whole India.       

After the victory Mamata said Bhawanipore residents are not all Bengalis. In fact, 46% of people in Bhawanipore are non-Bengalis. "They all have voted for me. People of West Bengal are watching Bhawanipore, which inspired me," she said adding that the victory is a befitting reply to the conspiracy that was hatched in Nandigram. 

The 66-year-old won the by-election for the assembly constituency of Bhawanipore in state capital Kolkata by a whopping margin of 59,000 votes over her main rival, a little-known lawyer from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

"I have won the Bhawanipur assembly by-poll with a margin of 58,832 votes and have registered the victory in every ward of the constituency," Mamata said, addressing the media in Kolkata.

The firebrand politician had to contest in the by-poll as she was defeated in Nandigram by her protege-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari in April-May's assembly elections though her ruling Trinamool Congress party swept back to power in Bengal.

India's main opposition Congress, on the other hand, did not fielded any candidate against Mamata. The party's decision was announced by West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury earlier last month.

On May 2, Mamata single-handedly pulled off a landslide victory in the assembly election for the third time in a row, bucking anti-incumbency and staving off a massive challenge from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP.

In June this year, Mamata moved the high court to declare Suvendu's election win "null and void' on the grounds that he had indulged in corrupt practices and sought votes on the basis of religion. 

Bengal had witnessed the most high-profile contest in India's recently held state polls. While Mamata harped on being Bengal’s daughter, the BJP asked people to vote for "change and development" after 50 years of Communist and Trinamool rule.

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