TMC confident of stopping BJP surge in by-poll

Posted By: PTI
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Kolkata, Aug 17: With the stakes high for parties in the September 13 by-poll to Bashirhat South and Chowringhee assembly seats, Trinamool Congress(TMC) on Sunday expressed confidence to stop the saffron surge and win both the seats.

"Though we trailed heavily to BJP in Bashirhat Dakshin assembly segment in the last Lok Sabha polls, we are confident of winning the seat in the coming by-polls. We will also win the Chowringhee seat," TMC All India general secretary Mukul Roy told PTI. "Don't judge assembly polls by Lok Sabha results. They are two different contests altogether.

All our ministers and MLAs will reach out to the block level. We will win both the seats," party's Secretary-General Partha Chatterjee said. BJP is keen on wresting Bashirhat Dakshin from TMC and open its account in Bengal Assembly. The party's Lok Sabha candidate Samik Bhattacharjee led from this assembly segment in 2014 Lok Sabha polls by 30,000 votes but lost to TMC's Idrish Ali.

In Chowringhee assembly seat, which is a part of South Kolkata Lok Sabha constituency, TMC had trailed by 1,500 votes to Congress candidate Somen Mitra. The by-elections are necessitated in these two seats as CPI-M's sitting legislator in Bashirhat Dakshin, Narayan Mukhopadhyay had died and TMC's Sikha Mitra resigned as legislator from Chowringhee.

Buoyed by its impressive showing in the Lok Sabha polls in the state, BJP is gearing up for the by-poll banking on the Narendra Modi wave. "We are confident of winning the two seats if the polls are held in free and fair manner," BJP state president Rahul Sinha said.

The Left Front was relegated to the third position in Bashirhat Dakshin and suffered its worst defeat in Chowringhee pulling only nine per cent votes in the Lok Sabha polls. It, however, expressed confidence that it would win the two seats.

"By-polls will be fought on different issues. Lok Sabha and assembly elections are not the same. They are two different ball games altogether," CPI-M leader Rabin Deb said. Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharjee said "We're hoping that we'll win both the seats."


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