Mamata hails Howrah win, happy she fought alone

Kolkata, June 5 (IANS) Describing the her party's victory in the Howrah Lok Sabha by-election as a new chapter in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said the voters have endorsed her decision to go it alone.

She also claimed that the result had strengthened the Trinmaool and would help it to sail through the Panchayat polls next month.

"I am grateful to ... the voters of Howrah for helping us to win. This is the beginning of a new chapter. You can's compare this election with any election in the past. The arithmatic from this leg will not match any from the previous polls.

"Earlier, we fought in alliance with the Congress. But this time we have gone it alone... The people of Howrah have said a resounding yes to us. They have told us 'ekla cholo re'," Banerjee told the media.

Banerjee said the Howrah fight was "very tough" as the Lok Sabha election was "only six months away".

She said it was a triumph against the joint might of the CPI-M, Congress, BJP and the central agencies.

"You all know about the Congress-CPI-M hobnobbing," she said. "The BJP officially did not contest, but fielded two independents.

"So it's a victory against Congress-BJP-CPI-M, as also the canards being regularly spread against us. And then there are so many central agencies."

Banerjee said it was the Congress and not her party which needed an alliance in the state.

She recalled that in the Jangipur by-polls held last year after Pranab Mukherjee became the president of India, his son Abhijit scraped through by only around 2,500 votes.

"We did not put up any candidate then. Had we done that, he would have lost by a big margin. On the contrary, Pranab Mukherjee had won by 1.28 lakh votes."

She also pointed out that the Congress' votes had gone down to around 10 percent in Howrah whereas in the past the party used to get 12-14 percent of the votes.

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