In a strong message to ally Congress after winning elections to four of six civic bodies, West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress on Tuesday said the victory was a strong indicator of its might in the state.
"The result is a strong indicator of the might of the party and proves that the Trinamool Congress can stand firm on its own feet in West Bengal. It has now been established that the Trinamool Congress can fight and win elections on its own," party general secretary and railways minister Mukul Roy told media in Kolkata.
The Trinamool snatched Dhupguri municipality in Jalpaiguri district and Burdwan district's Durgapur Municipal Corporation from the Left Front, triumphed in the Nalhati municipality in Birbhum district and retained the Panskura municipality in East Midnapore district. The elections were held on Sunday.
While the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front continued to hold sway over East Midnapore district's Haldia municipality, for the Congress the sole consolation was its success in retaining Cooper's Camp municipality in Nadia district.
The Trinamool and the Congress, allies in the central and state governments, fought separately in the civic polls for the first time after the assembly elections last year.
"The fight in the polls was not only against the Left (Front) but also against the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Maoists. The victory has vindicated our stand to go it alone," Roy said.
Describing the CPI-M as an "endangered species", Roy said the alliance was hurtling towards "extinction".
"We snatched three civic bodies from others. The LF barely managed to retain Haldia. Even there, we have consolidated our position since the last polls (2007).
"Bagging 72 of the 129 seats establishes the fact that we fight and win on our own," added Roy.