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Outcome of Bengal by-polls not in line with our expectation: BJP

Sukanta Majumdar

New Delhi/Kolkata: The West Bengal BJP on Sunday said the results of the three Assembly by-polls in state are not in line with their expectations, and they are accepting the outcome gracefully.

Sukanta Majumdar, the Bengal unit chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said: "We need to understand that a large number of people couldn't come to vote or they were not allowed to come to vote. But one thing we should keep in mind that the chief minister Mamata Banerjee thought that she would wipe out BJP from Bhabanipur but that has not happened."

"We are overwhelmed by the support of the people who despite all the odds, have come out and voted for us. This will inspire us to fight with a new spirit in future. There are four by-elections in October and we hope that we will do better in these elections," Majumdar said.

In a statement, the West Bengal BJP said: "The outcome of the three Assembly by-polls in West Bengal are not in line with our expectation but we accept it gracefully."

"After being demolished in Nandigram, Mamata Banerjee may have survived in Bhabanipur for now, but it has never happened that a losing candidate chose to thrust herself as the Chief Minister, in violation of all democratic norms and proprietary," the statement said.

The BJP alleged that the elections were held under an overbearing state administration, with dark shadow of fear, intimidation and gloom of the post poll violence hanging over the electorate.

Echoing the sentiment of state unit, senior leaders said the victory margin of Banerjee has surprised them a little.

"While contesting the by-polls, we tried our best and everyone had worked hard to ensure the Chief Minister's defeat in Bhabanipur. In reality, we are sure that her victory margin would be narrow. But the huge victory margins also came a surprise to us," a party leader said.

Another leader said that the party will draw plans for future to further expand its presence in the state with eye on 2024 Lok Sabha polls and next assembly polls in 2026.

"A long term plan will be finalised to strengthen and expand the party in West Bengal. The BJP workers will continue to fight for the people of West Bengal and uproot the Banerjee government in the next polls," another senior leader said.