TMC sweeps civic polls
Kolkata: Despite a sustained smear campaign by the BJP against Trinamool Congress , the people in seven municipalities have voted for development which has helped Trinamool to blow away the opposition with CPI-M and Congress bagging drawing a blank and BJP a distant number two with only 6 seats out of a total of 148 seats in the civic body polls whose results were announced on Thursday afternoon.
The election in seven civic bodies that include five municipalities, one notified authority and a corporation was held on August 13. The municipalities where elections were held are Haldia and Panskura in East Midnapore, Nalhati in Birbhum, Buniadpur in south Dinajpur and Dhupguri in Siliguri districts. The election was also held in Durgapur Municipal Corporation (DMC) and Cooper's Camp Notified Authority in Nadia.
Congratulating the people of the civic bodies for their overwhelming support to Trinamool Congress, party chief Mamata Banerjee said " Many had shouted and jumped to secure 3rd, 4th and fifth position. They ( BJP) managed only 0.1% vote. It is a victory of Ma, Mati and Manush," she maintained.
In Durgapur, Trinamool has bagged all 43 seats. Despite Trinamool's great success in the 2016 Assembly polls when it had bagged 211 out of 294 seats, the party had lost two Assembly seats in Durgapur. DMC Mayor Apurba Mukherjee and Pradip Mazumdar, Chief Minister's advisor (Agriculture) lost to their CPIM rivals. Durgapur was traditionally a CPI-M stronghold, producing leaders like Mrinal Banerjee former Power minister, Bansagopal Chowdhury and Jibon Roy. The Burdwan lobby of CPIM had total control over Durgapur. Such was the CPI-M dominance in Durgapur, that it was said that if instead of a candidate had the CPIM had nominated lamp posts it would have won the elections.
However, from 2008, CPI-M started losing control over the area. In 2011 Assembly election, taking advantage of Trinamool's infighting, CPIM was successful in getting two seats.
In the recently held election the people of Durgapur witnessed BJP's entry to the scene and there was an unofficial alliance between CPIM, Congress and BJP. But people voted for development and CPIM, Congress and BJP failed to open their accounts.
Former CPI-M MP Lakshman Seth joined hands with BJP to oust Trinamool Congress from Haldia. But Thursday's results have shown that Seth is a spent force in Haldia, with Trinamool getting all the 29 seats in the municipality.
Mamata Banerjee played a political master stroke in Nadia by roping in Shankar Singh from Congress and making him the president of the party. This move paid rich dividends, with Trinamool bagging all the 12 seats in Cooper's Camp Notified Authority. Nadia district had witnessed infighting in Trinamool. But Singh's charisma and organizational ability have helped the party to consolidate its base in Cooper's Camp.
In Dhupguri Municipality people waded through waterlogged streets to cast their votes and in the 16 seat municipality, Trinamool Congress bagged 12 seats while four seats went to BJP.
In Buniadpur, Trinamool got 13 out of 14 seats in the municipality while the BJP managed one seat. The only Left Front partner to bag a seat in the municipal election is Forward Bloc. The party has bagged one seat in Nalhati municipality in Birbhum.
Sujan Chakraborty of CPIM described the election as a farce and alleged that Trinamool had used state power to win the election. Dilip Ghosh, state president of BJP said: " BJP will white wash Trinamool in 2018 Panchayat election."