The Trinamool Congress will wrest the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) from the ruling Left Front after five years, say the exit polls conducted by three Bengali news channels on Sunday.
The Mamata Banerjee-led party may win between 73 and 81 seats of the 141 KMC wards. A party that gets 71 seats gets to control the corporation.
A poll conducted by Star-Ananda, a channel from the Star stable, said Trinamool would get 78 seats and the Left Front (LF) 54, followed by Congress’s seven and the BJP’s two. Zee network channel 24 Ghanta gave 73 seats to Banerjee’s party, 57 seats to the LF, 10 to the Congress, and one to the BJP.
Newstime’s exit poll said 81 seats would go to the Trinamool, 48 to the LF, nine to the Congress, and two to the BJP.
The polls to the 81 municipalities were held on Sunday, and the results will be declared on Wednesday. The exit polls were held only for Kolkata.
Though the Trinamool won the municipal polls in Kolkata in 2000, the Left Front managed to retain power in the assembly elections the next year. However, this time the situation is different because the Left has been in precipitate decline ever since trouble started in Nandigram in West Midnapore in March 2007 over land acquisition for a petrochemicals complex.
If the Trinamool Congress can wrest the KMC from the Left, it will add a feather to the party’s cap because the party had ruptured the winning alliance it had with the Congress before the Lok Sabha elections of 2009.
Apart from an incident of police firing on the southern fringes of Kolkata, the elections to the 81 municipalities were violence-free.
“The electronic voting machines were tampered with. However, we will accept the people’s verdict,” said Trinamool leader Mukul Roy.
“The polling was on the whole peaceful,” said Left Front chairman Biman Bose.