After panchayat, Trinamool wave in Bengal civic polls

Kolkata, Sep 24 : After sweeping the July panchayat polls, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) Tuesday won eight of the 12 West Bengal civic bodies that went to the polls last week.

TMC retained control over three civic bodies - Diamond Harbour (South 24 Parganas district), Habra (North 24 Parganas) and Guskara (Burdwan) - it won in the 2008 elections.

The party snatched four civic bodies from the Left Front - Panihati (North 24 Parganas), Chakdah (Nadia), Balurghat (South Dinajpur) and Burdwan - and one Dubrajpur (Birbhum) from the Congress.

Congress retained Haldibari (Cooch Behar) and Dalkhola (North Dinajpur) while the Left Front had to be content with Mekhliganj (Cooch Behar). The results in Alipurduar (Jalpaiguri) municipality threw up a hung mandate.

The Left Front and Congress alleged massive electoral malpractices by the ruling TMC which had swept the July panchayat polls, winning zila parishads (district councils) in 13 of the 17 districts.

Accusing the ruling party of resorting to threats, intimidation and booth capturing, the Left Front announced its withdrawal from the electoral process on the day of polling (Saturday) saying its candidates would resign from Burdwan and Chakdah municipalities even if they won.

Hailing the party's performance, Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee Tuesday termed it a people's victory.

"The opposition, including Congress and Left Front, could manage only 30 percent of the votes. On the other hand, Trinamool Congress which contested on its own, won 70 percent votes. The credit is not ours but goes to the people," she told journalists after an administrative meeting in Purulia district.

"The support of the people will provide encouragement to work for them," said Banerjee, adding the party would organise a rally at the Brigade Parade Ground here to thank people for the twin successes in the rural and civic polls.

--IANS (Posted on 24-09-2013)

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