West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee won in Kolkata’s Bhabanipur constituency with a margin of 58,835 votes as counting ended for the Assembly bye-election on Sunday, the Election Commission declared.
Banerjee had to win the bye-poll to get elected as an MLA in the West Bengal Assembly to continue as the chief minister of the state.
The Trinamool Congress chief won a total of 85,263 votes. She defeated the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Priyanka Tibrewal who secured 26,428 votes.
In the West Bengal Assembly elections held earlier this year, Banerjee had lost the Nandigram constituency to her former aide Suvendu Adhikari, who had defected to the BJP before the polls. But the Trinamool Congress had won the state elections.
On Sunday afternoon, Trinamool Congress workers gathered outside Banerjee’s home in Kolkata to celebrate her lead in the crucial election, reported ANI.
The party was also leading in Jangipur and Samserganj constituencies in Murshidabad district.
In Jangipur, Trinamool Congress’ Jakir Hossain won against BJP’s Sujit Das by a margin of 92,480 votes.
In Samserganj, Trinamool Congress leader Amirul Islam won against Congress’ Zaidur Rahaman by a margin of 26,379 votes.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission on Sunday directed West Bengal Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi to ensure that no victory celebrations take place after the election results are declared, PTI reported.
“All necessary actions must be taken to ensure the strict compliance of Commission’s direction where in all such activities have already been prohibited in view of pandemic,” the poll body said in a letter. “Further, state government must ensure that adequate steps are taken so that no post poll violence takes place.”
West Bengal had witnessed several incidents of post-poll violence involving supporters of the BJP and the Trinamool Congress following the Assembly election results on May 2. Various news reports put the toll between 11 and 14, but the police did not confirm the numbers.
In August, the Calcutta High Court had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to inquire into allegations of murder, rape and crimes against women in connection with the violence.
The counting of votes for the bye-polls began at 8 am on Sunday. In all, there were 21 rounds of counting for Bhabanipur, 24 for Jangipur and 26 for Samserganj, according to ANI. The elections took place on September 30.
Central security forces were posted at counting centres, the news agency reported. CCTV surveillance was also in place.
Meanwhile, Tibrewal wrote to the chief justice of the Calcutta High Court, requesting the strictest security arrangements to prevent violence in the aftermath of counting, Live Hindustan reported.
“I humbly request you to issue a strict order to all government enforcement departments to take extreme precautionary measures, so that no innocent is killed, no sexual offence takes place, no one becomes homeless and no incident of arson takes place,” she said.
On September 30, Bhabanipur had recorded a 57.09% voter turnout on election day. Jangipur had registered 77.63% turnout while Samserganj recorded 79.92%.