Mamata sweeps Bengal civic polls decimating Opposition, Hamro Party springs surprise in Darjeeling
Kolkata/IBNS: Maintaining its absolute dominance in the state politics, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday swept the violence-marred polls held in 108 civic bodies, wiping out all key opposition parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had won 77 assembly seats in less than a year ago.
As per the latest trends, the TMC is winning/leading in 102 of 108 seats, Left in one, Others one and four civic bodies have headed to a hung.
West Bengal Leader of Opposition (LoP) Suvendu Adhikari and his family, which were once the crux of the TMC, failed to continue their dominance in Contai in favour of the disarrayed BJP, which drew a blank.
The TMC, sans the Adhikari brigade, kept its hold in the Contai civic body with the leadership of West Bengal Minister Akhil Giri.
Despite the near clean sweep in Contai, Giri says, "We do not like opposition-free civic bodies. Opposition is important to do work but can't help if people wipe them out."
Alleging widespread rigging, the state BJP has refused to accept the result.
"We do not accept the result as the election was a mockery of democracy. The apparent result will not affect our organisational strength. BJP was, is and will be in West Bengal politics," said state BJP chief spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya.
In a similar story in Murshidabad, the TMC has wrested control over the civic body which has been run by the Congress for decades.
Crying foul over the result, Congress state president and Lok Sabha MP, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said, "The Congress candidates were kidnapped in two seats to facilitate TMC's win. I throw an open challenge that I will quit politics if I fail to win a single seat in Baharampur if elections are fair."
"Mamata Banerjee, despite winning big in assembly elections, is unable to trust people," he added.
However, the Congress' poor show is just a replica of what had happened in the 2021 assembly elections where Chowdhury's party failed to win a single seat in the entire state.
The surprise this time came from the hills as the newly-formed Hamro Party wrested control over the civic body in Darjeeling, leaving the BJP to bite the dust.
Balurghat, the bastion of BJP's state president Sukanta Majumdar, also went to the TMC.
Cutting across the allegations of violence and rigging on the poll day, Banerjee, who flashed a victory sign from her car, tweeted, "Heart-felt gratitude to Ma-Mati-Manush for according yet another overwhelming mandate to us. Congratulations to the winning candidates of All India Trinamool Congress in the Municipal Elections. "
"Let victory enhance our responsibility and dedication. Let triumph impart humility. Let us together work for peace, prosperity and development of the state. Jai Bangla!"
Let victory enhance our responsibility and dedication. Let triumph impart humility. Let us together work for peace, prosperity and development of the state.— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) March 2, 2022
In a slow rerise in state politics after a disappointing run since 2019, the Left has managed to win the civic body in Taherpur besides overtaking the BJP in terms of overall vote share.
"People are realising that BJP can't be an alternative to the TMC so they are reposing their faith in the Left," said CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty.