Howrah by-poll result a lesson for Mamata: CPI-M

Kolkata, June 5 (IANS) Claiming that the party has gained in its vote share, the CPI-M Wednesday said West Bengal's Howrah Lok Sabha by-poll result should come as a lesson for the ruling Trinamool Congress.

"Despite the terror tactics of the Trinamool, we have gained over 4.5 percent of the vote share, though we could not win. The poll result should come as a lesson for the Trinamool. It's high time they realised they cannot continue walking the terror path," Communist Party of India-M (CPI-M) leader Surjya Kanta Mishra told reporters here.

The Trinamool retained the Howrah Lok Sabha seat, with former international footballer Prasun Banerjee defeating the CPI-M's Sridip Bhattacharya by over 27,000 votes.

The by-poll was necessitated by the death of Trinamool MP Ambica Banerjee April 25. He had polled 37,392 votes over the CPI-M nominee in 2009.

Despite his party's defeat, Mishra claimed the result was an encouraging sign.

"I don't think it will bolster Trinamool's confidence, rather it is a positive sign for us," said Mishra.

Attributing the Trinamool's victory to the Bharatiya Janata Party's last-minute decision to withdraw from the polls, Mishra said the tacit understanding between the two parties will become apparent with the approach of the next general election.

Mishra also ridiculed Trinamool supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who described the victory as an endorsement of her decision to go it alone, without its former ally Congress. Congress candidate Sanatan Mukherjee finished a distant third.

"She often sings ekla cholo re, but she can't remain alone for long. Either the Congress or the BJP, she keeps taking sides," said Mishra, adding that Banerjee was becoming a "burden" for her party.

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