Big jolt to BJP as TMC sweeps WB Municipal Polls

KOLKATA: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday swept the municipal polls in West Bengal capturing all seven civic bodies while the BJP finished second in most places pushing the Left Front to the third position.

The BJP won six seats in three municipalities which included four in Dhupguri in north Bengal and one each in Buniyadpur (north Bengal) and Panskura in south Bengal, according to the results of the August 13 civic elections.

The municipalities which went for polls are Buniyadpur in South Dinajpur, Dhupguri in Jalpaiguri, Panskura and Haldia in East Midnapore and Nalhati in Birbhum.

Elections were also held in Cooper’s Camp Notified Authority in Nadia and Durgapur Municipal Corporation (DMC).

WHile the TMC also won the by-election in a ward in Jhargram municipality, the Left put up a poor show with the Forward Bloc, a front partner, winning a seat in Nalhati municipality. The Congress failed to win even a single seat in the civic polls.

In Cooper’s Camp, (once a Congress stronghold) Trinamool Congress has won 12 out of the 16 seats. As the counting began, the ruling party was leading in almost all the wards but BJP managed to take lead in two wards. In Haldia municipality, Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari’s stronghold, TMC has won in all the 29 wards as compared to 2012, when it had bagged 11 wards. Similarly in Durgapur, TMC has bagged all 43 seats.

In Nalhati municipality, out of 16 wards TMC has won 14, while the Left Front was leading in one ward and an independent candidate in the other seat. Last time, Trinamool Congress had secured only 8 of these seats.

In Panskura, Trinamool Congress has won 17 seats and the BJP was leading in one. In Buniyadpur, which is a new municipality area, they have secured all the 14 seats. Again, in Dhupguri, they have bettered 2012’s record of 11 seats and won 12 seats of the total 16 seats.

“The results are a reflection of people’s faith in the TMC government and a befitting reply to the canards spread against us,” Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee said after the results were announced.

The state BJP has alleged that two of their minority candidates were intimidated by the TMC and they had to withdraw nominations in Panskura (East Midnapore).

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, on Thursday said, “We all know that the TMC used money and muscle power to win the elections. We have seen how democracy was subverted by the TMC. In spite of a reign of terror, we have managed to win seats and come up to the second position.”

The BJP and the CPM had demanded cancellation of polls in of the wards alleging that the Trinamool used violence and booth capturing to rig the elections and “made a mockery of democracy”.

(With PTI inputs)