The Bhabanipur assembly constituency in West Bengal has yet again made its name known in the national politics as it rescued Mamata Banerjee for the second time in the last 10 years – this time with a record margin and more votes since the 2011 bypolls.
Mamata on Sunday won the bypolls from Bhabanipur with a vote margin of 58,835 over her nearest rival from the BJP as she bagged 85,263 votes, the Election Commission data showed.
More Votes Bagged; Record Winning Margin
The TMC has won all the assembly elections held in Bhabanipur since 2011, the year when the constituency was formed after delimitation. TMC’s Subrata Bakshi won the 2011 polls with 87,903 votes. In the 2021 assembly polls, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay won the seat with 73,505 votes. The winning margin for Subrata Bakshi was nearly 50,000 votes, while for Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay it was just 28,719 votes, the data from the Election Commission showed.
Mamata has contested the polls from Bhabanipur thrice – 2011 bypoll; 2016 assembly elections and 2021 bypolls. This time, Mamata won the seat with a record margin of nearly 59,000 votes. She bagged the seat in 2011 with a margin of more than 54,000 votes, while in 2016, the margin was 25,301.
In 2011, the Bengal CM had secured 73,635 votes, which was 78 percent of the votes polled. In the 2016 assembly polls, she secured 65,520 votes — only 48 percent of the total votes, the EC data showed. This time, she bagged 85,263 or 72 percent of the votes.
The Seat That Keeps Giving
Winning the seat in the bypolls was crucial for Mamata to retain her top post. The constituency, housing Mamata’s Kalighat residence, has been a stronghold of TMC since its inception.
The data from the Election Commission showed that in 2011, the Trinamool won 184 seats in the West Bengal Assembly elections. The victory was so astounding that it shattered the Left Front’s 34-year reign.
As her party won the majority in 2011, Mamata became the first female chief minister of the state. However, she had not contested the polls and was not part of the assembly. Then sitting MLA Subrata Bakshi, a TMC leader, had vacated Bhabanipur to make way for Mamata. That was the first time she was elected as an MLA.
The state went for polls in 2016 and Mamata retained her seat. In the 2021 polls, instead of her home seat, she decided to fight from Nandigram, a move that proved detrimental for her otherwise undefeated victory-run in the Assembly.
She lost the Nandigram seat even though TMC won 213 constituencies in the state. Mamata had lost to aide-turned-bête noir Suvendu Adhikari by a margin of 1,956 votes.
Just like the 2011 polls, despite not being an MLA, Mamata took oath as the chief minister of the state on May 5. As necessitated by the rules, she had to be elected to the state assembly before November 5 to retain the chief minister’s post, and she again turned to her home seat to retain the CM chair.
In the 2021 assembly polls, the seat was bagged by TMC’s Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay. He vacated the seat in May to make way for Mamata to contest from the seat.