The Trinamool Congress’s good performance in the municipal elections could have been excellent but for its defeat in the industrial town of Haldia, which it lost to the Left Front for the fourth time in a row.
Just a few hours after the results were announced, Trinamool MP Subhendu Adhikari, who was in charge of the election, offered to resign from the post of the president of the party’s youth wing.
“I have become an eyesore to many,” said Adhikari at a pubic meeting, adding, “the Haldia poll result is a defeat but not a disaster”.
Referring to a Trinamool MLA, he said, “I have enemies within the party leadership. They are jealous. But their allegation against me that I had set up a parallel power centre is untrue and baseless.”
Haldia was a prestige issue for the Trinamool because CPI(M) strong man Lakshman Seth, who is now in jail after his arrest in a case concerning six missing persons in Nandigram, belongs to the area and represented Tamluk in the Lok Sabha. Land acquisition in Nandigram was the Trinamool's main election plank.
A close look at the figures shows the Trinamool lost because of failing to work out an alliance with the Congress.
The CPI(M) won in 15 wards, and the Trinamool in 11. During the 2011 assembly polls, the alliance of the Trinamool and Congress won in 15 wards and the CPI(M) in 11. The alliance swept East Midnapore district (where Haldia is located), winning all the 16 assembly seats.
Trinamool sources told HT the party managed 46.33% of the votes while the Left Front won with 47.13%. However, in the 2011 assembly elections, the combine got 49.17% of the votes.