The Trinamool Congress surged ahead in West Bengal panchayat polls as the results for the lowest tier of the rural bodies gram panchayats began to pour in from early morning. By late night the TMC had taken a lead in 13 of the 17 districts.
On Monday night,the TMC was set to post victories in over 65 per cent of the total 3,215 GP seats. All the results would be known by Tuesday.
The TMCs performance was exceptional in South Bengal districts of Purulia,Bankura,West and East Midnapore,Burdwan and Birbhum. It fared well in North and South 24 Parganas,barring some upsets in isolated pockets and suffered anti-incumbency in Nandigram,Haldia,Budge Budge,Amdanga and Singur. In Singur and Nandigram,the TMC suffered due to internal fights. In North Bengal,the Left continued to hold sway over Jalpaiguri while Coochbehar a stronghold of the CPM and Forward bloc swung to the TMC this time.
With 20-22 per cent GP seats in its kitty,the CPM did not look like a total washout,though. Having won about 350 GPs,it was in the contest in isolated pockets and in some districts like Malda,Murshidabad,Nadia,Jalpaiguri and North Dinajpur. In the 2008 panchayat polls,the CPM and Left partners had won over 1,560 GPs.
The Congress,on the other hand,won about 200-plus GPs. In Malda,a Congress stronghold,it was a hung result with CPM and Congress bagging 41 each of the GPs and TMC 11. In as many as 52 GP,results were a tie with no clear winner.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dedicated the partys victory to the people in villages and said that her party overcame the conspiracy of the Central government and various constitutional bodies. The Congress,CPM and BJP had come together to defeat the TMC,but the people of the state voted for us. She was happy that in Junglemahal area,the party won over 275 GP seats out of a total of 290.
CPM state secretary Biman Bose said,The results are not the true reflection of the mandate of rural Bengal. The TMC had worked according to a master plan for long,and worked meticulously to rig and manipulate the polls. The TMC had spread terror and violence in rural Bengal to clinch this result.
The TMC looks well set to win at least 13 zilla parishads. In 2008,it had only East Midnapore and South 24-Parganas under its control.