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Mamata wrests Bengal panchayats from Left

Mamata wrests Bengal panchayats from Left
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC swept the West Bengal panchayat polls, as the party claimed a comfortable lead in 13 of the 17 districts where results were declared on Monday. The final results are expected by Tuesday.

‘It’s a victory for democracy,’ said the chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, who had decided to go it alone in the three-tier panchayat polls this time around. ‘It was expected,’ says Sisir Adhikari, Trinamool Congress MP and ex-minister  in the UPA government.
The ruling TMC won in the gram panchayats in East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Purulia, Birbhoom, Hooghly and Bankura. Mamata Banerjee’s party dominated in South Bengal and did well in Singur as well.

The TMC won 6,000 gram panchayats and panchayat samities uncontested. In Bankura, North 24 Parganas, Howrah, the party with the ‘Maa Mati Manush’ motto has trumped the Left parties and the Congress. The CPI-M led Left Front and Congress, however were fighting tooth and nail in Jalpaiguri,  Malda, Murshidabad and North Dinajpur for supremacy. The Congress has traditionally been strong in some of these districts.

On the directive of the Supreme Court, the five-phase rural poll in the state was held on 11, 15, 19, 22 and 25 July. Of the total 58,865 seats that went to polls, 6,274 have been won uncontested, a majority by the Trinamool Congress. In all, 1.7 lakh candidates were in the fray in over 17 districts.
Most panchayats and zila parishads were under the control of the Left Front till date.

The apex court order had come after the tussle between the Mamata Banerjee government and State Election Commission (SEC) had hit a blind lane with the government insisting on the state armed police and the SEC demanding Central forces for the polls.
Nandini Guha

Nandini Guha

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