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TMC stronger with victory of Mamata and ATM Abdulla

By Zaidul Haque, TwoCircles.net,

Kolkata: The ruling Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee today increased its strength in the West Bengal Assembly by two seats as the party won both Bhawanipur seat in Kolkata and Basirhat Uttar seat in North 24-Parganas. The party has retained Bhawanipur while snatched Basirhat Uttar from Communist Party of India (Marxist).

The by-election for Bhawanipur seat was historic as it has now allowed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to enter the state assembly as a legislator for the first time. She won the seat by a huge margin of 54,213 votes. The seat was vacated by her cabinet colleague Public works department minister Subrata Bakshi to make way for Banerjee’s maiden entry to the state assembly.

Maulana Siddiqullah Chaudhary

The by-election for Basirhat Uttar was held following the alleged the death of sitting MLA of CPI-M Mostafa Bin Quasem. CPI-M had now fielded Subid Ali Gazi in a bid to retain the seat whose more than 65% voters are Muslims. To check it, TMC of Mamata had also fielded a Muslim candidate ATM Abdulla. Abdulla has won the seat with a margin of 30,900 votes.

In the May 2011 Assembly poll, Congress had fielded Sardar Amjed Ali in Basirhat Uttar. Ali had deserted People’s Democratic Conference of India (PDCI) of Siddiqullah Chaudhary – state president of Jamiat Ulama, and joined Congress. Ali was General Secretary of PDCI. But PDCI had also fielded its candidate here and at some other assembly constituencies. Ali lost by just 3943 votes while PDCI candidate Rafikul Islam polled 7327 votes. Some panchayats are headed by PDCI in that constituency. The seat was won by Quasem of CPI-M.

This time PDCI did not field its candidate in either constituency. It was said that Siddiqullah Chaudhary wants to keep the door open for alliance with Mamata’s TMC. As the party was fielding its candidate in place of Congress, Chaudhary decided to not contest the seat.

Mamata Banerjee [Photo Courtesy: thehindu.com]

Talking to TwoCircles.net before this assembly by-election held on 25th September, Siddiqullah Chaudhary, when asked why his party was not contesting though it played a balancing role in the May 2011 election, he said: “To remove the 34-years rule of Left Front, PDCI played a vital role. Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, West Bengal Unit was first to campaign against CPIM Govt in Nandigram to stop the land grabbing. Then we formed PDCI to contest the election. But from the beginning TMC & their leader Mamata Banerjee has been in touch with us and had also taken political help. Somehow tie-up between TMC and PDCI could not take shape before the last poll and we had to contest alone. But I was always against Left Front Government. Election is over. New Government has been formed. We don’t want to waste our vote when we are sure that we could not win in Basirhat Uttar constituency. So State Committee of PDCI decided not to contest this time, but we should be observing the activities of new Government.”

Chaudhary also said he will take advice from AIUDF leader and MP Badruddin Ajmal for future course of action. “He will come to Kolkata after Eid-al-Azha. Ajmal will meet with Mamata Banerjee. After that meeting, future programme will be decided,” Chaudhary disclosed.