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KOLKATA: Abjijit Mukherjee, son of President Pranab Mukherjee and Congress candidate, yesterday won the Jangipur Lok Sabha by-election by 2,536 votes defeating his nearest rival from the Communist party of India - Marxist (CPM) Muzaffar Hussain.
Abhijit polled 3,32,919 votes, while the CPM candidate bagged 3,30,383 votes, Election Commission sources said. BJP candidate, Sudhangshu Biswas, who came third, received 85,867 votes. Two independent candidates Raisuddin and Tahedul Islam polled 41,620 and 24,691 votes respectively. Trinamool Congress did not put up a candidate in the by-poll even after severing ties with Congress.
Speaking to Gulf News, Mukherjee said, “I am grateful to the people of Jangipur for allowing me to represent the constituency in the parliament. I thank all the Congress workers for their support and our party leadership for giving me this opportunity.”
The by-election was held on October 10 as the seat had fallen vacant after Pranab Mukherjee was elevated to the highest office of the country.
However, Congress leaders are a worried lot even after this win. Pranab Mukherjee had earlier won the seat by a huge margin of over 1,28000 votes in the 2009 Lok Sabha election. “It’s true we have won with a very slender margin, which could have resulted in a defeat if there was a swing of even half a per cent. We will definitely enquire into this,” said a state Congress leader unwilling to be named.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders point out to the weakness Congress is facing even in a secure seat. “If we had contested we would have surely won. But unlike the Congress we did not want to split up the anti-communist vote and give CPM an edge hence we did not put up a candidate. This result should be a wake up call for the Congress party to stop taking anti-people measures that it is taking in the name of reforms,” said TMC general secretary Mukul Roy.
Congress leaders, however, blame the CPM for playing the communal card to secure higher votes. “It’s true we have lost but we have lost after putting up a brave fight. CPM as a party has all along fought against communalism and there is no reason for us to play such dirty politics,” said party state secretary Biman Bose.