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Three victories for Mamata on golden Wednesday

For West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Wednesday turned out to be a golden day. Besides a thumping victory in her maiden assembly poll, she also witnessed the Singur Act passed by her government being held valid in court.

Her party Trinamool Congress also wrested the Barihat (Uttar) constituency in North 24 Parganas from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

Dedicating to the people her electoral victory from the Bhowanipore constituency in a by-poll, Banerjee said: "It is the victory of the people. In spite of lack of canvassing and low turnout, the margin suggests the love people have for me and the party."

The 56-year-old leader won the seat with a 54,000-plus margin defeating her nearest rival, CPI-M's Nandini Mukherjee, a computer science professor.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee congratulated her on the victory.

She accused her rival CPI-M of undermining the 'Ma, Mati, Manush' (mother, land and people - Banerjee's pet) slogan.

"The CPI-M never gave a thought to the welfare of the Ma, Mati, Manush. The party only thought about its own cadres. The state has an acute shortage of employment and infrastructure."

She also said the Marxists resorted to illegal and unfair means to remain in power for three and a half decades.

She congratulated the people of Basirhat (Uttar) constituency of North 24 Parganas district where party candidate A.T.M. Abdulla won after the seat fell vacant following the death of CPI-M legislator Mostafa Bin Quasem who allegedly committed suicide.

She referred to Quasem as her brother and offered condolence to his family.

Hailing the Singur verdict, Banerjee called it "a victory of the people" that would pave the way for return of land to farmers.

"It is a historic event not only for Singur or the country but for the whole world. The Singur movement will forever be an example of struggle and victory for the world."

"When I came up with the Act, many so-called experts and critics criticised me and came up with unsolicited advice. They even called the whole exercise to be futile. But the verdict has vindicated my efforts," said Banerjee.

Earlier, the Calcutta High Court ruled the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act passed by the government was valid and constitutional.

Banerjee led her party to a massive victory in the April-May assembly polls bringing to an end the 34-year-old CPI-M led Left Front regime.

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