PRASHANT ACHARYA, EOI, Siliguri, 19 May 2016: Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress party may have secured 211 seats overall, but Malda and Darjeeling districts have come as big disappointments as the Trinamool could not wrest even a single seat amid a strong Left-Congress alliance.
CPM candidate Ashok Bhattacharya defeated TMC candidate Baichung Bhutia by 14,072 votes. He got 78,054 votes while Baichung garnered 63,982 votes. In Matigara-Naxalbari constituency, Congress candidate Shankar Malakar defeated the TMC’s Amar Sinha by 18,627 votes. Malakar got 86,441 votes compared to Sinha’s 67,814.
Gautam Deb, the North Bengal Development Department minister and TMC candidate from Dabgram-Fulbari constituency, vanquished archrival Dilip Singh of the CPM by a huge margin of 23,811 votes. Deb polled 1,05,769 votes while Singh managed just 81,958.
In Phansidewa, Sunil Kumar Tirkey of the Congress defeated TMC candidate Carolus Lakra by 6,929 votes.
Ashok Bhattacharya’s ‘Siliguri Model’ has worked once again in his favour after the twin victories of the CPM in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad elections. It is a great comeback for him as he had had to face defeat in 2011 at the hands of TMC candidate Rudranath Bhattacharya by 5,006 votes.
After the results were out, Bhattacharya said, “I thank all the people of Siliguri for their love and affection and for giving me an opportunity again to work for them. This is the people’s victory and I hope the state government will cooperate with me for the development of Siliguri and north Bengal.”
Meanwhile, Gautam Deb said, “Our chief minister’s ‘Maa Mati Manush’ slogan has helped us win this election; the people have announced their verdict as the chief minister has always remained with them in difficult times. The general public including the media were being misguided by the Opposition, but we have come out with an absolute majority and with a much better result than the last election.”
Congress veteran Shankar Malakar, the winning candidate from Matigara-Naxalbari constituency, said, “My responsibilities have grown once again with the people giving me another opportunity to work for them.”
Sunil Kumar Tirkey from Phansidewa constituency assured his constituency of providing better education, health benefits and drinking water facilities. He said, “Phansidewa has always remained backward with schools without sufficient teachers, hospitals without doctors and inadequate drinking water facilities. If the state government supports us without indulging in political games, my constituency will surely benefit.”
Breakdown of results:
Ashok Bhattacharya (CPM) – 78,054 votes; Baichung Bhutia (TMC) – 63,982 votes; Gita Chatterjee (BJP) – 19,300 votes;
Rabindra Rai (Gorkha Rashtriya Congress) – 924 votes;
Haridas Thakur (Bahujan Samaj Party) – 832 votes;
Mahendra Kumar Jain (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha) – 618 votes;
md. Zafar Iqbal (Independent) – 499 votes;
Vishwajeet Chatterji (Amra Bangalee) – 491 votes;
Tanmay Dutta (SUCI) – 439 votes;
Dasarath Karmakar (Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha) – 334 votes;
Shankar Malakar (Congress) – 86,441 votes;
Amar Sinha (TMC) – 67,814 votes;
Anandamoy Barman (BJP) – 44,625;
Bidur Barman (Kamatapur People’s Party [United]) – 2,464 votes;
Sudip Mandal (Bahujan Samaj Party) – 1,849 votes;
Goutam Kirtania (Independent) – 1,739 votes;
Kshitish Chandra Roy (SUCI) -1,138 votes;
NOTA – 3,307 votes;
Gautam Deb (TMC) -1,05,769 votes;
Dilip Singh (CPM) -81,958;
Rathindra Bose (BJP) – 26,195 votes;
Subhas Biswas (Independent) – 2,180;
Sanjiban Sarkar (Bahujan Samaj Party) – 1,409;
Abul Kashem (SUCI) -1,017 votes;
Dulal Sarkar (Amra Bangalee) – 914 votes;
Sunil Chandra Tirkey (Congress) – 73,158 votes;
Carolus Lakra (TMC) – 66,084 votes;
Durga Murmu (BJP) – 32,894 votes;
Jameson Tirkey (Independent) – 2,072 votes;
Lalu Oraon (CPIML) – 1,596;
Bikash Birju (Bahujan Mukti Party) – 1,474 votes;
Sushil Lakra (Independent) – 1,373 votes