TMC sweeps civic polls, wins all four local bodies

Updated on Feb 15, 2022 05:40 AM IST

The party registered its first electoral victory in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation in north Bengal.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shows a victory sign as she celebrates Trinamool Congress (TMC) win in the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation elections, outside Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, in Kolkata on Monday. (Utpal Sarkar)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shows a victory sign as she celebrates Trinamool Congress (TMC) win in the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation elections, outside Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, in Kolkata on Monday. (Utpal Sarkar)
By, Hindustan Times, Kolkata

The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday made a clean sweep in all four municipal corporations — Bidhannagar, Siliguri, Asansol and Chandannagar — in West Bengal that went to polls on Saturday.

The party registered its first electoral victory in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation in north Bengal.

“I am going to Siliguri today. This is indeed a big day. We are thankful to the people. It was a peaceful election,” said TMC president and state’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee. “…With this victory, we have to be more humble, more humane, work more and stand beside the people in times of need.”

The TMC, which was already ruling the Bidhannagar, Asansol and Chandannagar municipal corporations, snatched the Siliguri civic body, which was being ruled by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front by winning 37 of the 47 seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won five wards in Siliguri, the CPI(M) came third with four while the Congress could manage only one seat. In 2015, the Left Front won 23 wards against the TMC, which won 17 seats.

The TMC retained Bidhannagar by winning 39 out of 41 seats, but opposition BJP and the CPI(M) failed to open their account. The Congress managed to bag one seat, and an Independent candidate secured victory in one ward.

In Chandernagore, the TMC bagged 31 of the 32 seats, while the CPI(M) won in one ward.

In Asansol, the TMC emerged victorious in 66 of the 106 seats and was leading in five wards, while the BJP won in five seats, and the CPI(M) and Congress in two each.

“The trends have been devastating for the Left Front. Let the counting end and the results be declared,” Ashok Bhattacharya, CPI(M)’s outgoing mayor of Siliguri, told reporters earlier in the day.

Senior TMC leader and former state minister Goutam Deb said, “We have achieved today, what the Left didn’t allow us to do in 2009. Full circle has been completed.”

After the results, the TMC chief announced Deb’s name for the mayor of Siliguri.

In 2009, the Congress and TMC alliance won 30 of the 47 municipal corporation seats in Siliguri. The victory, however, turned sour because of some differences between the two parties over the mayoral candidate. Later, the Congress elected its mayor with support from the Left Front.

In ward 31 of the Asansol Municipal Corporation, the result was announced through a lottery after TMC and CPI(M) candidates polled same number of votes. TMC’s Ashan Prasad was declared the winner.

“Such incidents are very uncommon,” said a senior officer of the state election commission.

Meanwhile, the BJP moved the Calcutta high court on Monday alleging violence in the polls and demanding that the commissioner of the state poll panel be held responsible. The party also sought deployment of central forces in the coming civic polls.

Elections for 108 civic bodies across the state are scheduled for February 27, the SEC has announced.

The BJP has also alleged that fake voting took place in Bidhannagar and Asansol and sent a letter to the SEC on Sunday, seeking elections to two civic bodies be declared null and void.

“We have already said that votes were looted and free and fair elections were not held. The results too show the same. The ruling party wanted opposition-free civic bodies and they utilised the state machinery, including the poll panel, to ensure that. We have moved court,” said Dilip Ghosh, BJP’s national vice-president.

The SEC, however, said that voting was largely peaceful in all four civic bodies and that there were no reports of any major untoward incidents.

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