Pre-poll promises fall flat, saffron brigade a limping runner-up
Kolkata: The lofty claims of BJP regarding its performance in the Panchayat polls seem to have fallen flat, with the party trailing Trinamool Congress as a distant second in the counting as of now.
In Gram Panchayat, election was held in 31,802 seats. Out of this, Trinamool Congress has bagged 19,059 seats, while BJP has got 4,976 seats. In Zilla Parishad, BJP has bagged only one seat out of 622.
The trend also shows the virtual eradication of Congress and marginalisation of CPI-M. In GP, CPI-M and Congress have got 1,287 and 852 seats respectively.
BJP has done comparatively well in Nadia, Malda, Purulia, Bankura, Jhargram, Alipurduar and West Midnapore districts. Reacting sharply to this, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that BJP has pumped in money from Jharkhand and Assam.
"We have intercepted some people with money. It is most unfortunate," she said. She said Bankura and Purulia districts are flanked by Jharkhand. BJP has used both money and muscle power in the Panchayat elections in these areas, she added. Similarly in Malda and North 24-Parganas, the party has deployed goons from Bangladesh, said Banerjee.
"BSF jawans were found helping them. Law and order is a state subject. How can BSF personnel intervene in the polls without informing the state government?" she wondered. It may be mentioned that some people of Habra in North 24-Parganas had alleged that BJP had mobilised miscreants from Bangladesh, on the day of the poll on May 14.
The trend shows that the rural people have gone all out to support Trinamool Congress and the development carried out by the Mamata Banerjee government. Slander and canard circulated by BJP leaders in both the state and district levels, did not work as people did not get anything positive from them.
The election has once again proved that in Bengal, election is held on the basis on development and not assurances.
Congress has withered away in Malda and Murshidabad, once the party's strongholds. In Malda, Trinamool does not have an MLA but sheer organisational strength of the party has helped them win seats in Gram Panchayat and Panchayat Samity. On the other hand, WBPCC president Adhir Chowdhury, the erstwhile ruler of Murshidabad, has bcome insignificant in Bengal politics.
It has been the worst Panchayat poll for CPI-M, since the election started in 1978. In 2008, the party had first lost two Zilla Parishads to Trinamool Congress in East Midnapore and South 24-Parganas. In 2018, CPI-M has failed to bag a single Zilla Parishad so far. In Panchayat Samity, where the election was held in 6,123 seats, the party has bagged a mere 7.
CPI-M's unofficial alliance with Congress and BJP has failed to yield good results for the party and it has received a major blow, along with partner Congress.