Kolkata: West Bengal's ruling TMC on Thursday looked set to win all the three assembly seats bypolls for which were held on Monday, bagging Kaliaganj and Kharagpur Sadar, and establishing an unassailable lead in Karimpur.
Tapan Deb Sinha of the Trinamool Congress won the Kaliaganj seat in a close contest, defeating his nearest BJP rival Kamal Chandra Sarkar by 2,418 votes, EC officials said.
Congress's Paramathanath Roy had won the seat in the last assembly election. The party had fielded his daughter Dhritashree, who finished third. Kaliaganj is an assembly segment under Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency, which the BJP had won barely a few months ago.
TMC's Pradip Sarkar wrested Kharagpur Sadar seat from the BJP. He defeated Premchandra Jha of the saffron party by a comfortable margin of 20,788 votes. The loss in Kharagpur Sadar came as a shock for the BJP whose state president Dilip Ghosh was the MLA from there before he got elected to the Lok Sabha from Medinipur.
Kharagpur Sadar in an assembly segment in Medinipur Lok Sabha constituency. TMC nominee for Karimpur Bimalendu Sinha Roy has established a lead of more than 23,000 votes over his BJP rival Jaiprakash Majumdar, and looks all set to retain the seat for his party.
TMC's Mohua Mitra had bagged Karimpur in the last polls before she was elected to the Lok Sabha from Krishnanagar. This is for the first time that the TMC has bagged the Kaliaganj and Kharagpur seats.
Dedicating the party's victory to the people of West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said voters had "paid back" the BJP for its "arrogance of power". "We dedicate this victory to the people of Bengal. The BJP is getting paid back for its arrogance of power and for insulting the people of Bengal," she told a TV news channel.
The CPI(M) and the Congress, instead of trying to strenghten themselves, are "helping" the BJP in West Bengal, Banerjee said.