Trinamool’s pockets of gloom

Ruling party may be sweeping panchayat elections,but its victory run is interrupted in Singur and Nandigram — the land protest hubs and cradles of poriborton

Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata | Published:July 30, 2013 4:04 am

Singur slips

Five years ago,Singur had become the bellwether for the changing political map of West Bengal. The Trinamool Congress,which had bitterly opposed the land acquisition for the Tata’s Nano car factory,had swept the panchayat polls by winning 15 of the 16 gram panchayats in this part of Hooghly district.

But five years later,the Trinamool seems to be losing its grip on the place where the winds of poriborton first blew.

The party has this time won 12 of the 16 gram panchayats. Though it has snatched Gopalpur gram panchayat from the CPM,it has lost Mirzapur-Bankipur gram panchayat to the Marxists.

In addition,the Trinamool’s joda phool failed to bloom in three other gram panchayats — Borra,Gorai and Nasibpur — as no party could gain a majority here. In Nasibpur,both the Trinamool and CPM got nine seats each with the Marxists raising its tally from 2 to 7.

In Borra and Gorai gram panchayats,both the Trinamool and CPM bagged eights seats each.

Singur,where farmers are still waiting for their acquired land to be returned,is also the place where Trinamoool did not win a single gram panchayat seat uncontested. Becharam Manna,minister and Mamata Banerjee’s pointsman in Singur,blamed the media for Trinamool failing to repeat the sweep. “We would have won all the gram panchayats in Singur had the media not conspired against us and provoked the farmers to go against us. We have information that in some places,the CPM bought votes by distributing money. But we are sure of winning the zilla parishad seats here,” said Manna.

However,senior Trinamool leader Mahadeb Das,who had played a significant role in Singur land movement,was nervous once the results started pouring in.

He said,“We knew we will lose the margin of votes as we could not return the land to the farmers even after being in power in the state for the last two years. But we never expected that we will lose four panchayats. Now,we are not very sure of winning the two zilla parishad seats here.”

Significantly,the CPM has increased its tally in Beraberi gram panchayat,which is believed to be the birth place of Singur movement. Of the total 11 seats here,the CPM won three — improving its 2008 tally of one seat.

Nandigram dissents

The Trinamool Congress suffered a jolt in Nandigram — the party’s first centre of anti-land acquisition movement.

The party lost three gram panchayats to its dissident candidates in this East Midnapore area,which hit the national headlines in 2007 after police fired at villagers protesting land acquisition killing 14 of them.

In Nandigram block I,the Trinamool lost one of the 11 gram panchayats to Independent candidate,who belongs to the rival faction of the party.

In Nandigram block II,Trinamool has lost two of the seven gram panchayats to its dissidents.

In Haldia block II,Mamata Banerjee’s party won two gram panchayats but lost two to the CPM. The ruling party fears losing the Sutahata panchayat samity in Haldia II block to the Marxists.

Local Trinamool MP Sisir Adhikary,also considered the architect of the Nandigram movement,downplayed the loss,saying the CPM did not benefit.

“In Nandigram,we have not allowed the CPM’s entry. The three gram panchayats,which we have lost,are won by our dissidents. They would not turn Marxists any day. They would join us again,” he said.

“In Sutahata,we are losing seats. But the reason will be analysed,” he added.

In East Midnapore,the CPM has won 20 gram panchayats while the Trinamool has won 121.

Dhaniakhali

Dead TMC man’s wife beats TMC

Manuja Biwi — the wife of slain Trinamool Congress leader Kazi Nasiruddin — won Sompara seat in Dhaniakhali gram panchayat in Hooghly. Manuja Biwi was fielded by the Congress. Nasiruddin was allegedly killed in police custody and Manuja claimed that her husband was arrested and beaten to death by the police on the instructions of local Trinamool MLA Asima Patra.

Parui

Candidate who lost his father loses,so does TMC

The Trinamool could not win Kasba gram panchayat in Parui in Birbhum where Sagar Ghosh,the father of an Independent candidate,Hriday Ghosh,was shot dead during election. The Trinamool won six seats while the Independents,all Trinamool dissidents,won six,too. Hriday,however,lost the election.

Jamuria

Nominee whose husband died in poll violence wins

CPM candidate Manowara Biwi,who lost her husband in the poll violence,won from Madhudanga seat in Jamuria. Manowara’s husband was killed near the booth on the day of the polling after the Trinamool goons allegedly hurled bombs at him. — ENS

Anti-TMC protests last year,Loba in Didi kitty now

The Trinamool has retained its seats in Loba gram panchayat in Birbhum where an anti-Trinamool movement was witnessed last year following alleged police firing against villagers who were opposing acquisition of land for a mining firm.

The villagers were up in arms against the local Trinamool leaders and the state government against the acquisition.

However,sensing that this could snowball into a major crisis,Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,after visiting

the area,halted the land acquisition. — ENS

Five ‘RSP men’ injured in clash

FIVE persons were injured on Monday when supporters of RSP and Trinamool clashed at Basanti’s Kathalberia area in South 24-Parganas after results were declared. Trinamool snatched the seat from RSP. All the injured have been admitted at Canning Sub-Divisional Hospital,where sources said the injuries were inflicted by sharp-edged weapons.The RSP claimed that the injured five persons were their supporters and alleged that they were attacked by Trinamool Congress cadres.

It’s result of TMC’s threat: Congress

The Congress party on Monday blamed intimidation and the administration’s “support” for the ruling Trinamool as the primary reasons for its poor performance. “How can Congress fare well in the gram panchayat election when our candidates faced intimidation and were made to withdraw from filing nominations?” State Congress chief Pradeep Bhattacharya said. “The gram panchayat poll results did not reflect people’s choice,” he asserted. PTI

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