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Featured Image: Trinamool workers celebrate by lugging on shoulder their winning candidate Partha Pratim Roy (in yellow shirt) in Cooch Behar. 

By A Newsman

Cooch Behar, 22 November: TRINAMOOL has retained the Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat by an all-time record margin for the constituency, while the Left has now lost even the second slot to the BJP.

When Cooch Behar went to by-poll on 19 November, political observers were of the opinion that Left constituent Forward Bloc would give a fight to the ruling Trinamool even if the BJP increased its vote share.

But as the counting of votes progressed at Cooch Behar Polytechnic from 08 am this morning, it became gradually clear that the Forward Bloc has lost much its ground to the BJP. From the first round itself, Trinamool was much ahead of its rivals, while BJP and Forward Bloc were fighting from the second slot.

By early afternoon when the counting ended, Trinamool’s Partha Pratim Roy had pocketed 7,94,375 votes to register a win from his nearest BJP rival Hemchandra Barman by a whopping margin of 4,13,241 votes. This is so far the highest winning margin for Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat.

To everyone’s utter shock, Forward Bloc’s Nripendra Nath Roy, who had been a MP from Cooch Behar in the past, could manage 87,363 votes only. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, his party comrade Dipak Roy had fetched 4,89,392 ending second to Trinamool’s winner Renuka Sinha.

But this by-poll, both the Trinamool and the BJP have eaten up the votes that were with Forward Bloc even the last Lok Sabha polls. Trinamool had last time got 526,499 votes and this time it has polled 7, 94,375 votes.

BJP, on the other hand, had polled 2,17,653 votes; this time the party has bagged 3, 81,134 votes. This is a straight jump of around 28 per cent from the 16.34 per cent vote share in 2014.

As compared to this, Forward Bloc’s vote share has dropped from 32.98 per cent in 2014 to just 06.94 per cent this time. That is, the Left Front constituent has narrowly managed to save its security deposit which requires a constant to poll at least 06 per cent of the valid votes.

Cornered by Trinamool’s indiscriminate acquisition of party leaders, Congress on the other hand have managed only 33,470 votes and has this lost the security deposit. The party had polled  74,540 votes in 2014.

Upbeat by his performance, BJP’s Hemchandra Barman said that they would have come first and not second if the Trinamool had not resorted to massive rigging and intimidation on the voting day.

Asked to comment on the miserable performance of their Left ally, CPI-M’s Cooch Behar district secretary Tarini Roy maintained that Trinamool had reduced the by-poll into a farcical exercise and hence it was immaterial who got how many votes.

Trinamool’s victor Partha Pratim Roy said that people have voted for the development agenda of Mamata Banerjee and the hard work put in by the party’s district leadership made it a cakewalk for him.

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