Kolkata: West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress on Sunday won the Sabang Assembly constituency bypoll, by a massive margin of 64,192 votes.
Trinamool candidate Gita Rani Bhunia got 1,06,179 votes while her nearest rival Rita Mondal, of the Left Front-backed Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), secured 41,987 votes.
Amid a continuous slide in popularity over the past few years, the bypoll offered an opportunity for the CPI-M, which contested the seat for the first time as the Left Front, during its 34-year rule, had fielded Biplobi Bangla Congress candidates.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aspirant Antara Bhattacharyya was in the third spot with 37,476 votes. However, the party gained a substantial number of votes in this bypoll as against about 5,000 votes secured by the saffron party in 2016 Assembly elections.
The Congress, which won the seat in last year’s assembly polls, fared poorly, with its nominee Chiranjib Bhowmick in the fourth position securing 18,060 votes.
The bypoll was necessitated due to sitting Congress legislator Manas Bhunia’s resignation, after he crossed over to the Trinamool. He is now a Rajya Sabha member of his new party.
Trinamool candidate Gita Rani is Manas Bhunia’s wife.
The winning margin of Gita Rani in this bypoll surpassed Bhunia’s victory margin of more than 49,000 votes as a Left-backed Congress candidate in the 2016 Assembly polls.