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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

TMC wins big, wrests 13 districts in Panchayat polls

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 30, 2013
First Published: 09:55 IST(30/7/2013) | Last Updated: 01:34 IST(31/7/2013)

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress swept the three-tier panchayat polls and won 13 out of the 17 districts, cornering the Left to winning only Jalpaiguri.

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The TMC even routed the Left from some of its traditional strongholds, like Burdwan and Hoogly. The Congress ended up capturing just one Murshidabad district while it is a hung result in Malda and North Dinajpur.

Mamata called it a victory of the masses and said people have made the right decision.

"I want to thank the people of West Bengal who faced a lot of adversities while voting. By voting and making the right decision, they have brought back the democracy to Bengal," she said.

Anti-incumbency had no effect and neither did the Saradha chit fund scandal over which she came under opposition fire.

“This is the victory of democracy. I dedicate this victory to the people. The Congress, CPI(M) and the BJP had an unholy nexus, but people defeated it. Trinamool had to fight against different forces,” the CM said on Monday evening at Writers’ Building, the seat of the state secretariat.

She said Trinamool had registered an increase in the percentage of votes compared to the percentage of votes it had secured in the 2011 assembly elections, which brought her to power and saw the end of 34 years of the Left Front rule in the state.

According reports, the Left has accused the TMC of rigging the polls.

“At many counting stations, Trinamool Congress did not allow our agents to enter. Initially there were reports of our leads, but then agents were thrown out of the centres and our seats were reduced,” Left Front chairman Biman Bose said.

The Congress too accused the Trinamool of strong-arm tactics.

“We have constantly alleged a reign of terror. In 20% of the seats, our candidates were ready, but could not file nominations,” said state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya.

The ruling party also made major inroads into North Bengal, which is considered a Congress bastion. The Trinamool put up a strong showing in Cooch Behar and South Dinajpur as well.


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