KOLKATA, Dec 4 (IANS): The Trinamool Congress Sunday retained its stronghold Kolkata South Lok Sabha seat with party candidate Subrata Bakshi trouncing his nearest Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) opponent by a massive margin of over 2.30 lakh votes in the by-poll.
State Trinamool Congress president Bakshi won the by-poll against CPI-M's young face Ritabrata Banerjee. Three Independents in the fray lost their deposits.
The Election Commission, however, announced the results without counting 48 votes due to malfunctioning of an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).
"Due to the malfunctioning of an EVM, counting of 48 votes is being held up," Dibyendu Sarkar, joint chief electoral officer, told IANS here.
The by-poll, held Nov 30, was necessitated by West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool suprmo Mamata Banerjee's resignation from the Lok Sabha after she won the Assembly by-election from Bhawanipur two months back.
The Trianmool's strength in the Lok Sabha now goes up to 19 making it the second largest constituent of Centre's Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. The DMK has one less seat than the Trinamool.
The constituency has consistently elected Mamata Banerje to the lower house of Parliament half a dozen times over the past 20 years. She won as a Congress candidate in 1991 and1996 and on a Trinamool ticket in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009.
In the previous election two years back, Banerjee had humbled her nearest opponent Rabin Deb of the CPI-M by a margin of 219,571 votes.