Sunday, March 1, 2009

Trinamool defeats CPM in West Bengal by-poll

1 March 2009

Kolkata: West Bengal's main opposition Trinamool Congress Sunday wrested the Bishnupur (West) assembly seat from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) with a huge margin in a by-election, giving a fresh jolt to the ruling Left Front.

Trinamool Congress candidate Madan Mitra trounced CPM's Iskandar Hossain by 30,395 votes in the by-poll held Feb 26. Mitra secured 85,335 votes while Hossain bagged 54,940.

Eighty-two percent of the voters exercised their franchise in the by-election, which is the last trial of strength between the ruling Communists and the opposition before the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

With the Congress withdrawing its candidate in favour of the Trinamool, the verdict is also likely to strengthen the clamour for an alliance in the state between the two opposition parties for the coming elections.

The election result, interestingly, comes on a day Congress general secretary in charge of the state Keshav Rao is in Kolkata to discuss modalities of a possible tie-up with the Trinamool with his party leaders.

The election was necessitated by the death of CPI-M's Rathin Sarkar, who bagged the seat in the 2006 assembly polls.

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