FIVE months after spearheading TMC to a landslide win in the Assembly election, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee scored a personal point with a landslide victory on Sunday in the Bhabanipur by-poll with a record margin of 58,835 votes. Making her victory sweeter, her party’s candidates for the other two by-polls in the State, in Jangipur and Samserganj, notched up impressive victories with TMC’s Jakir Hossain winning Jangipur by a massive margin of 92,480 votes in a one-sided fight. Banerjee’s huge victory, which came after her narrow defeat in Nandigram in the Assembly held earlier this year, was expected by most analysts.
However, political pundits and voters were watching out for her margin of victory. By notching up an all-time high margin for victory in Bhabanipur in the heart of Kolkata, Banerjee seems to have underlined her popularity in her home state. Banerjee secured 85,263 votes, while her nearest rival, BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal, garnered 26,428 votes. CPI(M)’s Srijib Biswas came a distant third, polling 4,226 votes, the Election Commission said.