Trinamool sweeps civic polls in West Bengal
Trinamool Congress Monday scored a resounding victory in the civic elections, winning four out of five municipal bodies, including the prestigious Howrah Municipal Corporation.
It swept the polls in the Jhargram and Krishnanagar civic bodies and retained that in Medinipur, while winning a couple of seats for the first time in Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury`s bastion Behrampur.
In the Howrah Municipal Corporation elections, the TMC steamrolled the Left Front, winning 41 wards of the 50-member body.
The Left Front, which had 33 seats earlier, managed only two while Congress bagged four and BJP two.
While BJP candidate Gita Roy defeated heavyweight Mayor Mamta Jaiswal of the CPI(M) in ward No. 13 in a four-cornered contest, deputy Mayor Kaberi Moitra of CPI lost to TMC`s Sabitri Devi Shaw.
Counting in ward No. 44 is yet to be taken up owing to repolling in one booth scheduled later this week.
The CPI(M)-led Left Front, which has been winning the Howrah Municipal elections since the formation of the civic body in 1984, was relegated to a pathetic third.
Their woes were further compounded as the party drew a blank in the Behrampur Municipality in Murshidabad district. There the TMC bagged two seats while the Congress won the remaining 26 wards.
In Krishnanagar, the TMC dislodged Congress from power winning 22 of the 24 seats, while the remaining two wards went to the Independents.
Commenting on the results, TMC all-India general secretary Mukul Roy told reporters, "People have again expressed their faith in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her policies and vision for development."
The CPI(M)-led Left Front was dislodged from Jhargram,
in the once-Maoist infested West Midnapore district after three decades by the TMC, winning 16 of the 17 seats, while the Left Front got a consolation seat.
While the TMC won 13 of the 25 seats in Midnapore, the Left Front got four and the Congress six while with the rest two going to Independents.
The TMC`s sweeping victory in the civic poll came close on the heels of its resounding success at the state panchayat elections followed by victory at eight out of 12 civic bodies where election was held in September this year.
Reacting to the results, Minister of State for Railway Adhir Chowdhury said in Beharampur, "The existence of the party has come under question. The party leadership should take immediate steps to reverse the situation."
He, however, refused to give credit to the TMC for winning the two wards in his backyard.
"The candidates (TMC candidates) won owing to their own calibre," he said about his one-time close associates Kanai Roy and Pradip Nandi who emerged victorious on TMC ticket in wards 3 and 5 respectively.
TMC`s Mukul Roy, however, said, "The strength of TMC has risen in Behrampur. We have already left our footprint and will rise to a position of strength soon."
He said that in the last municipal elections there, TMC had only 2.8 per cent vote share and that it has increased to 29 per cent this time.
Of the 29 wards in 23 municipal bodies, including two in Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which went for by-elections, TMC won in most, including two in Kolkata and one in adjoining Salt Lake Municipality.
Along with the civic elections, by-elections were also held in 29 wards spread over 23 civic bodies where the TMC emerged victorious in 23 of them including two wards in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
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