8 ministers, Madan Mitra among heavyweight losers in Bengal
Kolkata, May 20: A number of heavyweights including eight ministers, jailed ex-minister Madan Mitra, Indian soccer icon Bhaichung Bhutia and CPI(M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra bit the dust in the West Bengal Assembly elections on Thursday, May 19.
West Bengal Food Processing Minister Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury lost his Englishbazar seat by a heavy margin of 39,727 votes against Independent candidate Nihar Ranjan Ghosh who was supported by Left-Congress alliance. [TMC sweeps Bengal, wins 211 seats]
Chandrima Bhattacharya, Minister of State for Health, and Law and Judicial Affairs, also failed to retain her seat from North Dumdum as she lost to CPI-M's Tanmoy Bhattacharya by 6549 votes.
In Jadavpur, Power Minister Manish Gupta who had defeated the then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in 2011, lost to CPI-M's Sujan Chakraborty by 14,942 votes. PWD Minister Sankar Chakraborty conceded defeat from Balurghat by a narrow margin of 1450 votes.
Minister Sabitri Mitra lost Manickchak seat by 12603 votes to Congress leader Md Mottakin Alam. Madan Mitra, who is in judicial custody in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam case, lost his Kamarhati seat by 4198 votes to CPI-M leader Manash Mukherjee.
It is for the first time in the state that a high-profile candidate fought Assembly elections from jail. The former state Transport and Sports minister, whose name also figured in the Narada sting operation, was arrested by the CBI in December, 2014.
Minister for Mass Education Extension and Library Services Abdul Karim Chowdhury lost from Islampur seat to Congress candidate K L Agarwal. Textile Minister Shyamapada Mukherjee lost from Bishnupur to Congress leader Tushar Kanti Bhattacharya by a narrow margin of 891 votes.
Backward Class Welfare Minister Upendranath Biswas, former CBI Joint Director, fared badly against Congress candidate Dulal Chandra Bar who polled 12,236 votes more than him.
CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra, who was the opposition leader in the outgoing Assembly, lost his Narayangarh seat to TMC's Prodyut Kumar Ghosh by 13,589 votes.
Former Indian football captain and Trinamool candidate Bhaichung Bhutia lost the Siliguri seat by 14,072 votes to Siliguri mayor and former CPI-M minister Ashok Bhattacharya.
In the hills of Kalimpong, sitting MLA Harka Bahadur Chettri, who had resigned from GJM and was fighting as an Independent candidate supported by Trinamool, lost to his nearest rival GJM leader Sarita Rai by 11,431 votes.
91-year-old sitting Congress MLA Gyan Singh Sohanpal, who is the senior-most member in the outgoing Assembly, lost his Kharagpur Sadar seat to BJP state president Dilip Ghosh by 6309 votes.
Former state BJP president and national secretary Rahul Sinha lost Jorasanko constituency of north Kolkata, where the Vivekananda flyover collapse killed 26 people killed on March 31. Trinamool's Smita Bakshi won by a margin of 6290 votes against him.
In the high-profile constituency of Bhabanipur of south Kolkata, Congress leader Deepa Dasmunshi and Netaji kin Chandra Bose lost out to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.