Trinamool Congress workers began celebrating at counting centres early on Tuesday as the party appeared set to rout the opposition in a majority of 92 civic bodies across West Bengal, including the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).
As trends and results from the counting of votes emerged, it was clear that the Trinamool Congress had steamrolled rivals in 51 civic bodies across the state and appeared close to clinching 100 out of 144 wards in the KMC.
The Congress and the Left Front have won five bodies each. The Bharatiya Janata Party failed to make a mark.
In the KMC, the Left won or was close to winning in 16 wards, the BJP in nine, the Congress in seven and others in three.
The civic body polls are being seen as the “semi-final” to the crucial assembly polls next year.
Widespread violence had marked the polls to the KMC on April 18 and to 91 civic bodies on April 25.
“When people accepted Mamata Banerjee in 2010, our aim was development. It is the victory of Mamata Banerjee and the development plank. The conspiracy of violence slur against us has been defeated by the people," Sovan Chatterjee, a Trinalmool Congress leader and a former mayor, said after winning his seat.
Be it Raghunathpur, Dinhata, Naihati or Kanchrapara, news of wins by the Trinamool Congress poured in from all over the state.
The BJP, which made inroads in vote share during the Lok Sabha polls last year, seemed to have almost nothing to show.
"This was expected. We have already said that the elections have been a farce. The Trinamool Congress, along with the state election commissioner and police, rigged the polls and terrorised Bengal. The assembly polls under the election commission of India and with central forces will be different, I promise you," said Rahul Sinha, president of the state BJP unit.
The Congress held on to its stronghold of Murshidabad and some parts of Malda and impressed observers by winning more civic bodies and seats in other areas. Though the party is considered a depleted force, it caused a few upsets by winning in Jhalda and Purulia and some wards of the KMC.
The Left Front had little to smile about and the only solace was its performance in a number of seats of the Siliguri civic body and the victory registered by former minister Ashok Bhattacharya.
The Trinamool Congress maintained its supremacy despite several of its leaders being behind bars for their alleged involvement in chit fund scams. The Mukul Roy factor seemed to have had no effect and Subharngshu, Roy's son, won in the Kanchrapara civic body.
Observers said the civic body polls had made it apparent that the opposition parties would have to cover much ground to thwart the Trinamool Congress in the assembly elections.