Trinamool Congress eyes 50 Bengal civic bodies

The Trinamool Congress on Friday appeared confident of controlling around 50 of the 81 civic bodies in West Bengal, with some help from the Congress and independent candidates.

Last Updated: Jun 04, 2010, 14:56 PM IST

Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress on Friday appeared confident of controlling around 50 of the 81 civic bodies in West Bengal, with some help from the Congress and independent candidates.

"We will form the board in 50 civic bodies. We have our calculations. We are planning," Trinamool Congress bigwig and leader of the opposition in the state assembly Partha Chattopadhyay told a news agency.

"It is up to them (Congress) to decide whether they will be with us to strengthen the hands of the people or with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)," he said.

The results show that in 24 municipalities, the Congress and Trinamool will be in a position to form the boards if they join hands. In some others the combine may need the help of independents.

However, the Trinamool is toying with the idea of forming boards in some of the hung municipalities by drawing independents and newly elected Congress councillors to its fold.

In Kanchrapara municipality of Nadia district, the lone Congress councillor has already joined the Trinamool, which is now on par with the ruling Left Front on seats.

State Congress working president Pradip Bhattacharya said his party was ready to go with the Trinamool. "We will join hands, there is no problem in that," Bhattacharya told the agency.

Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, while hinting at a post-poll alliance between the two parties, has however made it clear that talks with Congress leaders would be held at the local and not state level.

Banerjee`s stand is an indication of her strong opposition to some state-level Congress leaders whom she holds responsible for the failure of pre-poll seat sharing talks between the two parties.

Bhattacharya confirmed that no discussions have taken place at the state level.

"There is no need for discussion. These matters will be sorted out by the local leaders of the two parties. If they cannot, we will intervene," he added.

Out of the 80 municipalities where polling was held in various districts, the Trinamool won a majority on its own in 24. The ruling CPI-M-led Left Front has bagged 17, while the Congress is set to control seven. Trinamool has also won a decisive majority in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

There is a tie between the Left and anti-Left parties in one civic body, while independents hold the key in several others.

IANS