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NRC Behind TMC's Victory in Bengal Bypolls? BJP Candidate Blames 'People's Fear' for Loss

TMC workers celebrate the party's win in Kharagpur on Thursday.

TMC workers celebrate the party's win in Kharagpur on Thursday.

TMC’s Tapan Deb Singha beat his nearest BJP rival Kamal Chandra Sarkar in Kaliaganj, while the joint candidate of the Congress and Left — Dhitasree Roy — finished third.

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Sujit Nath

Kolkata: In good news for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress won the Kaliaganj and Kharagpur Sadar seats for the first time in the party’s political history and is set to emerge victorious in the Karimpur seat, result for the West Bengal by-elections revealed on Thursday.

TMC’s Tapan Deb Singha beat his nearest BJP rival Kamal Chandra Sarkar in Kaliaganj, while the joint candidate of the Congress and Left — Dhitasree Roy — finished third.

Responding to the results, Sarkar said: “I don’t want to comment on whom the Rajbonshi community voted for. But one thing is clear; the minorities voted for TMC. I admit that that National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the reason behind my defeat. There was fear among the people regarding NRC.”

He added, “We failed to make people understand that NRC in Assam was different. NRC is implemented by the Centre and not the BJP as a party. People thought BJP was implementing NRC and this went against us.”

TMC’s Singha, on the other hand, said he was elated that people had reposed faith in Banerjee. “I would like to thank everybody who worked hard at the booth level. We all worked hard as per the instructions by our seniors. I am happy that people have reposed faith in our party chief Mamata Banerjee. It is true that Didi’s developmental works ousted BJP in this seat.”

TMC general secretary Partha Chatterjee too welcomed the poll results in Kaliaganj, saying: “The poll results show BJP was rejected in Bengal. People don’t like hate politics in Bengal.”

The Kaliaganj assembly constituency is a part of Raiganj Lok Sabha seat, which was won by BJP’s Debasree Chaudhuri in the 2019 general elections. Kharagpur assembly constituency is part of Medinipur Lok Sabha constituency from where state BJP president won the last Lok Sabha elections.

In a nutshell, Kaliaganj and Kharagpur were earlier a Congress bastion and later shifted to become a BJP stronghold but the defeat in Kaliaganj and massive lead in Kharagpur is bound to shock the BJP. BJP leaders claimed that NRC and selection of Premchand Jha, not a popular leader in Kharagpur, went in favour of TMC candidate Sarkar.


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