West Bengal Civic Polls Results: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today congratulated people of the state for ‘putting their trust’ in Trinamool Congress after the party’s resounding success in Municipal elections. “Congratulations to Ma Mati Manush for again & again putting their trust in us. We are honored, privileged & humbled,” the West Bengal Chief Minister tweeted this afternoon. Notably, the polls were held on Sunday and results were declared this morning. “The hills are smiling,” she said, adding, “Special thanks to Mirik for reposing faith in us. We will work sincerely for you. After so many decades we begin a new era in the hills.” TMC manged to make inroads in the hills by clinching Mirik Notified Area Authority- the first party from plains to do so in three decades. “Congratulations to my brothers/sisters in hill areas of Darjeeling Kurseong Kalimpong Mirik for participating in the democratic process,” CM Banerjee posted on Twitter.
TMC today virtually swept the civic bodies elections by winning 4 out of 7 municipalities across the state. The ruling party in the state has bagged all 3 municipalities in the plains. BJP ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha remained the numero uno party in the Hills after securing 3 civic bodies. Among those, the party has won 31 out of 32 wards in Darjeeling. Apart from it, GJM won Kurseong and Kalimpong civic bodies. In plains, TMC won Domkal in Murshidabad, Raiganj in North Dinajpur and retained Pujali in South 24-Parganas. While Domkal is a newly created civic body, Raiganj was earlier held by Congress.
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The results are a setback for opposition parties even as they had accused the ruling dispensation of using strong-arm tactics during the polls. Repoll at six polling stations in three municipalities took place on Tuesday. West Bengal State Election Commission had on Monday ordered repolling at only these polling stations in Raiganj, Domkol and Pujali municipalities.
Prior to the elections, local media had opined that it’s BJP’s chance to make a statement that they are the new opposition force in Bengal. Notably, BJP was in the second position in bypolls to Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat in November 2016 and the Kanthi Dakshin assembly seat last month. With Domkal and Pujali having a large Muslim population, the BJP had fielded 10 Muslim candidates in these two municipalities, according to reports.
Congress and CPI(M) have tied hands to take on TMC. While Congress had termed it a ‘seat-sharing strategy’ , CPM said it was an ‘exercise to unite all democratic forces’ against the TMC and the BJP.
Last month, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Shah had fired salvos at each other on the last day of the latter’s three-day visit to the state where the saffron party wants to expand its footprint after a string of electoral successes. Shah had then targeted the TMC government, saying under it West Bengal had become the “most poverty stricken state” in the country, and promised to help it “flourish like Maharashtra and Gujarat” once the BJP came to power there, according to PTI report.
Banerjee, who, after decimating the Left in its bastion in 2011, has been fiercely defending her turf. She has time to time accused the BJP of trying to “intimidate” her party and declared she would “capture Delhi”. “Such poverty is not there anywhere else in the country,” Shah told a meeting of booth-level BJP workers in Kolkata while winding up his three-day visit to the state.