TMC trumps others in organisational strength
Kolkata: With only 48 hours left for the candidates contesting for the Panchayat elections to file their nominations, the Trinamool Congress is far ahead of its competitors on the basis of its sheer organisational strength.
The total number of seats in the three-tier Panchayats, namely Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samity and Zilla Parishads are 58,816. Of these seats, there are 48,816 seats in Gram Panchayat while Panchayat Samity and Zilla Parishad have around 9,240 and 825 seats respectively. The elections will be held in three phases on May 1, 3 and 5.
Except the Trinamool Congress, no other political party has the man-power to field candidates in all the Gram Panchayat seats as over 48,000 candidates will be required to contest in all of them. Political experts said the opposition parties — BJP, CPI(M) and Congress have alleged that their candidates have been prevented from filing nominations. The experts maintained that trouble is not taking place in all the 341 blocks in Bengal. The political parties do not have the guts to disclose the actual picture as that will break the morale of the party workers.
The poll pundits also added that only the CPI(M) had the organisation up to the
grassroot level. But after the poll debacle in 2011, many party workers left and joined the Trinamool Congress and the situation turned from bad to worse after the party bagged only 28 seats in 2016 Assembly elections.
In vast areas in East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Jhargram and Hooghly, North
24-Parganas, East and West Burdwan which were party strongholds, most of the party offices are closed as it has failed miserably to woo the youths. Statistics highlight that from 1978 to 2003, the Left Front used to bag 50 percent of the Gram Panchayat seats while it got 75 percent and 85 percent seats in the Panchayat Samity and Zilla Parishads. The TMC, over the years, has improved its organisational power with efficiency and precision.
Neither the BJP nor Congress have the organisation to field candidates in all the Gram Panchayat seats. Experts said the opposition parties as they are weak organisationally will not be able to field half of the candidates for Gram Panchayat seats as no attempts have been made by them to strength the organisation over the years.
The BJP had started the membership drive with a fanfare three years ago but no step was taken to train up the members who would be recruited for the elections.
In Congress also, the number of young supporters have fallen drastically and unless the parties pull up their socks and improve organisation in the grassroot level it will be difficult for them to do well in the polls.