Trinamool's winning streak continues

Trinamool's winning streak continues

The Trinamool Congress continued its winning streak since 2008, emerging victorious in 13 of the 17 districts, as the final tally of the recently-concluded Panchayat polls in West Bengal was declared on July 30.

Poll-related violence, however, claimed three more lives in the state, taking the total death toll to 29 since July 11, the first phase of polling.

As the State Election Commission (SEC) had apprehended and the Centre warned, violence continued in parts of north Bengal even as poll results were being declared.
 A Congress supporter, allegedly assaulted by Trinamool activists on Monday, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital on Tuesday.

In other incidents, a CPM cadre died in a clash with Congress supporters and a Congress supporter’s body was found with his throat slit.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hailed the Panchayat poll results as a “victory of the people” and “victory of democracy”, state Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee refuted allegations of violence from opposition parties. “Such allegations are insulting to the people’s mandate. This is the final stamp in favour of paribartan (change). The people have spoken,” he said.

Mamata told reporters at the state secretariat in Kolkata, “People voted braving heat and rain. We should respect the verdict and behave in a peaceful manner.” She added that the victory will be celebrated in a mega-rally at Kolkata on August 21. Earlier in the day she had predicted that her party would win 13 of 17 districts, which turned into reality by 5 pm.

“We fought on our own for the first time and the people have said they are with us,” she said, alleging that the Left, Congress and BJP had formed an underhand alliance. She also accused the SEC of favouring the opposition parties, particularly the Left. While the Trinamool reigned supreme over rural Bengal, the Left lost 11 districts it had held after the 2008 Panchayat polls.

The CPM failed to maintain dominance over strongholds like Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore districts, which have all been taken over by the Trinamool. Even in the districts adjoining Kolkata — Howrah, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Nadia — the ruling party is on top.

The Trinamool extended its influence even to the hitherto out of bounds north Bengal by taking away Cooch Behar and South Dinajpur from the Left, which has been left with just Jalpaiguri in the region. The Congress, which retained its hold over Murshidabad, has been relegated to second spot in another stronghold, Malda.

Comments (+)