The winning streak of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee looks set to continue through the by-polls, where her Trinamool Congress is on track to wrest two seats won by the BJP in the April-May state polls. The party is ahead in all four seats where by-elections were held.
Though the counting is not over, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee congratulated the winning candidates, saying the results show Bengal will "always choose development and unity over propaganda and hate politics".
My heartiest congratulations to all the four winning candidates!— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) November 2, 2021
This victory is people's victory, as it shows how Bengal will always choose development and unity over propaganda and hate politics. With people's blessings, we promise to continue taking Bengal to greater heights!
The elections in Dinhata and Santipur were seen as a prestige battle for the BJP, which is currently grappling with an exodus of MLAs and senior leaders.
Elections to Dinhata seat -- part of north Bengal's Cooch Behar, seen as a BJP stronghold -- became necessary as the BJP's Nisith Pramanik resigned after he took over as the junior home minister at the Centre.
The Trinamool is also leading in Santipur, which became vacant after BJP MP Jagannath Sarkar resigned from the assembly.
Now, the Trinamool has started celebrating in Dinhata as party candidate Udayan Guha is ahead by more than 91,000 votes.
To add to the mirth in the Trinamool camp, the BJP looks set to finish third in Khardah, way behind even the CPM.
Khardah is the seat where former Kolkata Mayor Sovandeb Chattopadhyay is contesting. Mr Chattopadhyay had given up the Bhawanipore seat in Kolkata for Mamata Banerjee, who had to get elected into the assembly within six months of the state elections following her defeat from Nandigram.
The addition of another four seats will add to the Trinamool's record tally of 213 seats in the state elections. For the BJP, it would be further loss of face in a state where it unleashed its mammoth election machinery in the hopes of wresting the state from Ms Banerjee with more than 200 seats.