TMC sweeps Bengal civic body elections

Polling had taken place in Bidhannagar, Asansol municipal corporations amid violence. The votes are being counted right now.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: October 11, 2015 3:15:48 am
Trinamool Congress supporters outside a counting centre in Bidhannagar in Kolkata (Express photo by Subham Dutta) Trinamool Congress supporters outside a counting centre in Bidhannagar in Kolkata (Express photo by Subham Dutta)

In a major boost to its campaign ahead of next year’s assembly polls, the Trinamool Congress Saturday registered a sweep in the elections for the three municipal corporations, the results for which were declared Saturday.

Besides bagging 37 of 41 wards in the newly formed Bidhannagar-Rajarhat Municipal Corporation, the TMC won all 16 wards in Bally municipality and 74 of 106 wards in Asansol, poll officials said.

While the TMC called it “a victory of the masses”, claiming that the people had restored their faith in the developmental work done by party chief and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the opposition Left Front said the results reflect “the strength of the TMC’s goondaism and not the people’s mandate”.

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Elections to Asansol, Bidhannagar municipal corporations and Bally municipality, held on October 3, were marred by violence and assault on journalists. More than 70 per cent voting was recorded.

State election commissioner Sushanta Upadhyay stepped down afterwards, alleging that he was “under pressure” from the TMC for withholding the dates for the announcement of results. An interim SEC (Alapan Bandyopadhyay) was appointed by the state government.

The victory reiterates the TMC’s continuing hold over the urban electorate.

Significant losers in the Bidhannagar-Rajarhat Municipal Corporation include Dr Asim Dasgupta, the former finance minister of the Left Front government, and Ramola Chakraborty, wife of late Subhash Chakraborty — a popular sports and youth affairs minister in Jyoti Basu’s Cabinet. Dasgupta, the Left’s mayoral candidate, lost to his TMC opponent by a margin of over 1,400 votes.

TIMELINE

2:30 pm: The Trinamool Congress is, as of current leads, winning in all three municipal corporations.

12: 48 pm: In Bali, TMC candidates are leading in all wards. In Bidhannagar, the party is leading in 37 out of the 41 wards.

12:20 pm: Clear signs are now emerging of a complete sweep by the ruling Trinamool Congress in both Bidhannagar and Asansol corporations in the state. The party might also win all 16 wards in Bali in Howrah.

The results will be a setback for the BJP in Asansol, a constituency nurtured by its MP Babul Supriyo.

10:52 am: To give you a quick refresh on where things stand in different corporations.

Bali: Trinamool 16, CPM 0, BJP 0, Congress 0

Asansol: Trinamool 65, CPM 16, BJP 5, Congress 0

Bidhannagar: Trinamool 33, CPM 4, BJP 0, Congress 2

10:05 am: In Bali, which falls under Howrah district in Kolkata, it has been Trinamool all the way. CM Mamata Banerjee would be happy with the party’s results here.

9:47 am: In Bidhannagar corporation election, the Trinamool seems to be virtually sweeping with leads in at least 35 out of the 41 wards. The Left has made no impact here. This is also the place marred by violence during polling. CPM’s Asim Dasgupta, the mayoral candidate, is still behind.

9:36 am: In Asansol, Trinamool candidates are leading in 26 wards followed by CPM in 6 wards and BJP in just 1 ward. Remember, this is the corporation that falls under the Lok Sabha constituency of BJP MP Babul Supriyo. The election has been a prestige fight for him.

9:20 am: The Trinamool seems to be enjoying a big lead over the CPI(M), Congress and the BJP. In Bidhannagar, at least 21 Trinamool candidates were ahead. In Bali, the party’s candidates were leading in all 16 wards.

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