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TMC sweeps civic polls in West Bengal

4/29/2015 1:31:18 PM

By Soumitra Nandi
Kolkata:
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee scored a landslide victory in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) elections clinching 114 of the 144 wards and also winning 69 of the 91 civic bodies across the BJP, which was hoping to replace the Left as the main opposition in the KMC, failed miserably, managing to increase its tally from three to just seven seats.

The TMC, which in the last KMC polls had won 95 seats, increased its tally to 114 while the main opposition CPI(M)-led Left Front was reduced to just 15 from 33. Independents bagged three seats in the KMC. Congress, which was fast becoming insignificant in Bengal , managed to win five seats, down from eight in 2010.

CM Mamata Banerjee took to Twitter to dedicate party's victory “to the people of Bengal”. She also asked party workers to stay away from victory rallies in the wake of Nepal earthquake disaster.

She tweeted that the party will “dedicate the victory to Rabindranath Tagore on 9 May through Rabi Pronaam across West Bengal.”
With the Assembly polls scheduled early in 2015 this convincing victory by TMC is extremely significant amidst serious allegations of corruption, including alleged involvement of some of its leaders in the Saradha Chit Fund scam.

However, a cause of worry for the ruling party was the defeat of some of its heavyweights. The chairman of the outgoing KMC board Sachidananda Banerjee, deputy mayor Farzana Alam and also party MLA Paresh Pal were among the surprise losers.

On the part of CPI (M), the leader of opposition in the outgoing KMC board Rupa Bagchi was defeated by her nearest TMC rival.

For the Left which suffered major electoral reverses in recent years, the victory in Siliguri Municipal Corporation came as a morale booster as it bagged 23 of the 47 seats. TMC bagged 17 seats in Siliguri Municipal Corporation, which was regarded as a prestige fight for TMC leader and state minister Gautam Deb and CPI (M) leader and former minister Ashok Bhattacharya.The Congress won five seats while the BJP got two seats and an independent won one seat in Siliguri.

The TMC showed impressive results in municipalities across the state. The party snatched Sonamukhi in Bankura, Baduria, North Dum Dum in North 24-Parganas, Mathabhanga and Tufanganj in Coochbehar, Gayeshpur municipalities in Nadia from the Left and the Congress.

The Left Front won just five municipal bodies- Jangipur, Dinhata, Daihat, Siliguri and Taherpur-- whereas the Congress won five municipalities - Murshidabad, Kandi, Jhalda, Kaliagunj and Islampur. The BJP failed to win even a single civic body.

The fate of 12 municipalities is undecided as none of the political parties managed to get a majority.

The civic polls in Kolkata were held on 18th April and on April 25 in 91 municipalities across the state.

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