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By A Newsman

Midnapore, 13 April: THAT Trinamool has retained the Kanthi South Assembly seat in East Midnapore is hardly any surprise.

But the big takeaway from this latest by-poll result announced in Bengal today is that pushing the Left Front behind, BJP that has now emerged as principal opponent to the ruling Trinamool.

Left Front had lost the second slot to BJP in the Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat by-poll held last November. This is the second time that the trend has repeated.

In the Kanthi South Assembly by-poll held on 09 April, Left Front has got decimated to such an extent that its candidate has even lost security deposit for failure to secure one sixth of the total valid votes.

CPI’s Uttam Pradhan, who contested from Left Front, has bagged only 17,423 votes. This is against the near 59,000 votes that the Left had polled at Kanthi in the 2016 Assembly polls, which it had contested in alliance with Congress.

In 2016, Left’s vote share in the seat was around 34 per cent; now it stands at around 10 per cent. Congress too has lost its security deposit by polling a paltry 2,270 votes.

Contrary to this, BJP’s Sourindra Mohan Jana has secured 52,843 votes to come out second to victor Trinamool. In the 2016 Assembly polls, the saffron party had polled only around 08.5 per cent votes; this time it has bagged around 30 per cent votes.

Trinamool, which has bagged 95,369 votes, has retained the seat by a margin of 42,526 votes from its nearest rival BJP. In the 2016 polls, its winning margin was around 34,000 and the party had secured 53 per cent votes. Now, Trinamool’s vote share stands at around 56 per cent.

By-poll in the Kanthi South Assembly seat was necessitated after the previous Trinamool MLA Dibyendu Adhikari quit on being elected an MP from the Tamluk Lok Sabha seat.

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