In the midst of Bengal BJP unit trying to put up a brave face as the ruling TMC won in all the three constituencies where the bypolls were held, one of its candidates said on Thursday that confusion over the proposed implementation of NRC has cost BJP the seats.
The TMC on Thursday won all the three assembly seats of Kaliaganj, Kharagpur Sadar and Karimur, bypolls for which were held on Monday.
BJP Kaliaganj candidate Kamal Chandra Sarkar Thursday said, "We have lost despite having a massive lead in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. We lost as there has been serious confusion over implementation of NRC in Bengal. People didn't accept this narrative over NRC and we too failed to reach out to the masses on this issue. There has to be instrospection".
Reacting to BJP's dismal performance in bypolls, the president of the party's West Bengal unit, Dilip Ghosh said there will be introspection.
"We need to look into the results. But we don't think it will have any bearing on the growth of BJP in Bengal. Actually during bypolls it is a general trend that those who are in the government win it," Ghosh said.
Asked whether the bypoll result is a reflection of people's anger and confusion over the proposed NRC in the state, Ghosh replied in the negative.
"Why should NRC be an issue? In 2019 (parliamentary) polls too the NRC issue was there, but we had won. So it won't be right to blame NRC issue for our defeat. Maybe there was anger over selection of candidates," he said.
Tapan Deb Sinha of the Trinamool Congress won the Kaliaganj seat in a close contest, defeating his nearest BJP rival Kamal Chandra Sarkar by 2,418 votes, EC officials said.
Kaliaganj is an assembly segment under Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency, which the BJP had won barely a few months ago. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had a lead of over 56,000 votes in this assembly segment.
TMC's Pradip Sarkar wrested Kharagpur Sadar seat from BJP. He defeated Premchandra Jha of the saffron party by a comfortable margin of 20,788 votes. The BJP had a lead of nearly 45,000 votes in this seat during the Lok Sabha polls.
The loss in Kharagpur Sadar came as a shock for the BJP as Ghosh was the MLA from there before he got elected to the Lok Sabha from Medinipur.
Kharagpur Sadar in an assembly segment in Medinipur Lok Sabha constituency.
TMC nominee for Karimpur Bimalendu Sinha Roy too won by over 24,000 votes defeating his BJP rival Jaiprakash Majumdar. TMC MP Mohua Mitra had bagged Karimpur in the last polls before she was elected to the Lok Sabha from Krishnanagar.
This is the first time that the TMC has bagged the Kaliaganj and Kharagpur seats.