Lucknow, June 15 (IANS) On a day when the Samajwadi Party (SP) ditched the Trinamool Congress for the UPA's presidential candidate, the Mamata Banerjee-led party stunned the SP government in Uttar Pradesh by winning the Mant assembly by-poll in Mathura district Friday.
Trinamool candidate Shyam Sundar Sharma won the seat by defeating his nearest Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) rival Yogesh Nuahwar by 6,604 votes, state's Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha told IANS.
With this win, Trinamool has opened its account in the 403-member state assembly.
The by-poll was necessitated after RLD MP Jayant Chaudhary, son of party chief and Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, quit the seat.
The stakes were high for the Akhilesh Yadav government, too, as this was the first test at the hustings after the SP's thumping victory in March.
Akhilesh Yadav's close aide Sanjay Lathar was the party candidate from the constituency, and despite a busy budget session the chief minister had specially flown down to campaign for Lathar.
Lathar, however, managed a poor third with 50,039 votes, almost 10,000 less than that of the RLD candidate who got 60,853 votes.
Shyam Sundar Sharma, who won the Mant constituency six times since 1989 had the better of the 14 candidates pitted against him and got the Trinamool its first seat in the state assembly.
The Congress was supporting the RLD candidate while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had not fielded candidates.