On the expected lines, the ruling Trinamool Congress Tuesday registered a landslide victory in the West Bengal civic body polls winning 114 of the 144 wards in the politically crucial Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and bagging 69 of the 91 municipalities in districts across the state.
The BJP, which was hoping to make some inroads ahead of next year’s Assembly polls in state, failed to bag any civic body while Left Front and Congress won six and five municipalities each, respectively. The fate of 11 municipalities is undecided as none of the political parties managed to get a majority. The counting began at 8 am and the results for the two-phase elections were out by noon.
The victory has come at a time when the ruling party is facing some serious trouble with several of its leaders, including MPs and ministers, being summoned by the CBI and ED and jailed for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. TMC’s numbers may go up as the party has already started talks with the independents to form the board.
The main highlight of result is that Mamata Banerjee-led party retained its firm hold over rural, semi-urban belts while also winning in the urban core of Kolkata. The magnitude of the TMC’s victory was overwhelming — in South Bengal districts it captured over 80 per cent of the municipal wards.
Mamata described the victory as “festival of democracy” and a fitting reply to those who had raised a bogey of terror before the polls. “This victory is an answer to all the slander and canard that was spread against us. Even with so many TV channels you could not do anything. The polls were completely free and peaceful. Had there been rigging, we would not have lost the few seats,” she said.
Barring KMC, the TMC won 1,312 (67.45 per cent) municipal wards out of a total 1,945 while Left Front won in 268 wards (14.34 pert cent), the Congress 184 wards (9.46 per cent) , BJP 66 wards (3.37 per cent) and independents and others in 84 wards (4.32 per cent).
Among the districts, those in South Bengal voted overwhelming for the TMC while Left and Congress pockets of influence were visible in North Bengal districts such as Murshidabad, Malda, Raiganj, Dinajpur. In Murshidabad, the state Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury managed to retain his hold while in Malda the honours were shared by the TMC and the Congress with each wining one