With By Poll Win… TC Spreads Wings Beyond West Bengal

KOLKATA, Feb 17: Trinamool Congress today described its victory in an Assembly by-poll in Manipur as evidence of the party’s “growing presence” outside West Bengal.

“Trinamool’s victory in the Manipur by-poll after the success in Arunachal Pradesh, winning in five seats in 2009, would help the party acquire a national presence,” Trinamool leader and Union Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy told PTI here.

“The victory will justify the party’s decision to participate in the Assembly election in Manipur in 2012,” he said. Trinamool Congress candidate K Sarat was today elected to the Konthoujam Assembly constituency in Manipur’s Imphal West district in a by-election. Sarat got 9592 votes, Indian National Congress candidate S Ranjan got 8937 votes, while independent candidate Kh Ranjit got 3831 votes.

The party had set up a party unit in Manipur last year, Roy said. The party already has units in Tripura, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in India’s northeast. He said former Manipur chief minister R K Dorendro Singh and former parliamentarian from outer Manipur Kim Gangte were the two important leaders of the party in Manipur.

Asked if Trinamool would raise issues relating to Manipur in Parliament like   repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 in the state, Roy said, “We will talk to the people of Manipur and the party unit before taking a decision.” Commenting on the victory, party leader Partha Chatterjee said, “Mamata Banerjee’s popularity as an all-India leader is increasing, which has perhaps explained the win in five seats in Arunachal and the by-poll in Manipur.”

(Courtesy: Press Trust of India)

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