Trinamool aced the Asansol poll test for the first time through its new celebrity recruit Shatrughan Sinha, whose victory by a margin of more than three lakh votes harked back to his cult status in the coal belt after his turn as Mangal Singh in the 1979 blockbuster ‘Kaala Patthar’. BJP candidate Agnimitra Paul lost even on her home turf Asansol (South), which had elected her to the assembly less than a year ago. BJP won in six of the seven assembly segments.
TMC’s seat count in the Lok Sabha now stands at 23 while its tally in the assembly remains constant at 211. Ex-BJP MP and Union minister of state Babul Supriyo, who joined Mamata after quitting the saffron party last September and the Asansol seat a month later, made a successful assembly debut, defeating CPM’s Saira Shah Halim in Ballygunge by a little over 20,000 votes. BJP’s Keya Ghosh was a distant third, getting less than half the votes the runner-up got in keeping with the trend seen in the urban local body polls earlier this year.
In Bihar, RJD’s Amar Kumar Paswan defeated BJP nominee Baby Kumari by 36,000-odd votes in the Bochaha assembly bypoll.