TMC candidate Babul Supriyo at the counting centre during Ballygunge Assembly by-polls result day in Kolkata, Saturday, April 16, 2022. (PTI)
The Trinamool Congress is on way to a clean sweep as it demolished rivals in the Asansol Lok Sabha seat where movie actor-turned politician Shatrughan Sinha is leading by an unassailable margin of nearly 2.3 lakh votes, while it's candidate Babul Supriyo is on way to win the prestigious Ballygunge constituency.
In Asansol former Union minister and popular veteran Bollywood star Shatrughan Sinha is leading by garnering a massive 5,45,818 votes against BJP's Agnimitra Paul's 3,15,283 votes as at 2 pm. BJP had won the seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
In Ballygunge, TMC candidate singer-turned politician Babul Supriyo is ahead of CPI (M) 's Saira Shah Halim, gathering some 40,623 votes against Halim's 28,515 votes. Interestingly CPI(M) has overtaken BJP's Keya Ghosh who has till now managed to get just 8,094 votes, thus lending some credence to the Communist party's claim that they are on a revival path.
The by-polls, which took place on April 12, were necessitated as Supriyo resigned as the MP of Asansol after switching over to the TMC from the BJP, while state minister Subrata Mukherjee, who represented Ballygunge, died last year.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee thanked voters from the Asansol Lok Sabha seat and Ballygunge Assembly Constituency for giving a decisive mandate to TMC candidates in both the seats, where by-polls were held.
"I sincerely thank the electors of the Asansol Parliamentary Constituency and the Ballygunge Assembly Constituency for giving decisive mandate to AITC party candidates," she tweeted.
"We consider this to be our people's warm Shubho Nababarsho gift to our Ma- Mati- Manush organization. Salute to the voters for reposing faith in us, yet again," she added.
TMC leader Firhad Hakim said rising unemployment and prices and the lack of any steps by the BJP central leadership, which he described as "Nero fiddling while Rome burnt," being among causes for BJP's poor showing.
Supporters of TMC's Sinha and BJP's Paul traded `Jai Bangla' and `Jai Sri Ram' slogans but stopped short of clashing as police stepped in.
BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said it is a general trend that the party in power in the state generally wins the by-elections.
"But I can assure you that we will win back Asansol in 2024. We would defeat TMC's reign of terror in the next Lok Sabha polls," he said.