Bypolls: Cong narrowly wins in Jangipur, loses in Tehri

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Kolkata, Oct 13: Abhijit Mukherjee, the son of President of India Pranab Mukherjee, won the bypoll from Jangipur constituency in Murshibad district of West Bengal, which was vacated by his father after he was elected as the President.

Abhijit, currently the MLA from Nalhati, polled 2,536 ballots more than his nearest competitor, CPI(M)'s Mujaffar Hussain, after 17 rounds of counting. Pranab Mukherjee had won from this seat twice, in 2004 and 2009, and his winning margin was 36,860 and over 1.28 lakh, respectively.

While Abhijit received 3,32,919 out of 8,47,872 votes, Hussain received 3,30,383 votes. BJP's Sudhangshu Biswas received 85,887 votes. The ruling party, Trinamool Congress (TMC), did not field any candidate saying it did so to honour Pranab Mukherjee. Two independent candidates Raisuddin and Tahedul Islam received 41,620 and 24,691 votes, respectively.

However, that did not improve the relation between the TMC and Congress. Congress MP from Murshidabad Abdul Mannan Hossain alleged that the TMC did not vote for Abhijit Mukherjee in the by-poll.

Another MP from Murshidabad district and the district Congress chairperson Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the TMC did not field candidates not because of gratitude but actually it was afraid of losing the election. He said the TMC wanted to polarise the votes on communal lines and hence did not participate in the election. TMC leader and state minister Madan Mitra counter-challenged Chowdhury, asking the latter to quit Berhampore, his constituency seat, and contest the polls.

The contest at Jangipur was mainly fought between Abhijit Mukherjee and Mujaffar Hussain. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Pranab Mukherjee had received 54.2 per cent of vote share while CPI(M)'s Mrigankasekhar Bhattacharya got 40.5 per cent votes. Although the TMC is not a powerful force in Murshidabad, but the Sagardighi assembly seat under the Jangipur Lok Sabha segment is under its control. The MLA from Sagardighi, Subrata Saha, is also a state MLA.

Congress drubbed in Tehri

The Congress, however, suffered a drubbing in the Tehri bypoll in Uttarakhand. The party lost the seat which was recently vacated by Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, to BJP's Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah. She defeated Bahuguna's son Saket by more than 18,000 votes.

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