The election was crucial to the All India Trinamool Congress leader’s efforts to continue as chief minister following a defeat at Nandigram.
“It is a victory against the conspiracy that was hatched to defeat me from Nandigram,” Mamata said. “I thank the people of Bhabanipur for giving me such a huge mandate.”
BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal blamed the party’s defeat on election fraud.
“If people were allowed to vote, the result would have been different,” she said. “Even I got hold of fake voters on the polling day. In several booths, polls were rigged. But I will admit that our organisation was weak in Bhabanipur. We have to improve this.”
The Trinamool Congress is also leading in two other bypolls for the Murshidabad district.
Polls opened at 8 am amid heavy security, with the deployment of 24 companies of security forces and CCTV surveillance in the area.
During the April-May assembly elections, Mamata Banerjee lost the Nandigram seat to close aide turned opponent Suvendu Adhikari, who defected to the BJP before the polls.
In order to remain as chief minister, she had to win an assembly seat within six months of that defeat.