Kolkata: In another setback to the Left Front in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday won the by-election to the prestigious Kolkata South Lok Sabha seat by a record margin of 2,30,099 votes over CPI(M).

The emphatic victory has yet again proved the dominance of TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee in the Lok Sabha constituency.

TMC candidate Subroto Bakshi, PWD and Transport minister , polled 5,16,761 votes and registered a victory against rival Ritobroto Banerjee of CPI(M) who got 2,86,662 votes.

With this victory, TMC, the second largest ally in the UPA, gets back to holding 19 seats in the Lok Sabha, the figure it earlier had before Banerjee vacated the seat following her election to the Assembly.

There were three Independents in the fray in the constituency, which has an electorate of 15 lakh, but the BJP and Trinamool's ally Congress did not put up candidates.

In the 2004 general elections, this was the only constituency where Trinamool Congress had registered its lone victory.
After delimitation, the seven Assembly segments under the Kolkata South constituency are — Rashbehari, Ballygunj, Behala Purba, Behala Paschim, Bhabanipur, Kolkata Port and Kasba.

Currently, Trinamool Congress holds all the seven assembly segments and the party had a combined lead of 3.25 lakh votes over the Left Front in the May Assembly polls.

Significantly, Trinamool Congress has increased its margin from the 2009 polls despite a lower turnout of 51.5 percent in this by-election compared to the previous election's 66.82 percent for the seat.

"This result is an indication of the people's growing support for the pro-people policies and development initiatives of Chief Minister since she assumed office in May after the landslide victory of TMC," Subroto Bakshi said.

Bakshi said he would work under the guidelines provided by his leader Banerjee.

CPI(M) candidate Ritobroto Banerjee said, "We accept the verdict of the people."

"It is not that the people have totally rejected us, but we could not convince the people adequately," he said in his reaction to the verdict.

This is the third victory for Trinamool Congress in as many elections after coming to power in May having earlier won by-elections to the Bhabanipur and Basirhat North Assembly segments.

(JPN/ Bureau)