Calcutta, June 18: The Trinamul Congress appears set to retain the Uttarpara-Kotrung municipality, the oldest civic body in the state, which goes to polls tomorrow along with the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and the Bidhannagar Municipality.
Trinamul had bagged 17 of the 24 wards in 2000, while the Left Front had got five and the beleaguered Congress only two.
Residents in this Left bastion had voted for Trinamul to protest the CPM-led board’s alleged nexus with realtors and the inability to improve civic life.
Some local CPM leaders, who were members of the chairman’s council of the Left Front board, also felt that Trinamul’s poll prospects are bright this year.
“People have enjoyed basic civic amenities during the past five years and this must have a reflection on the ballot,” said a CPM leader.
“I don’t know why they (CPM) failed but we enjoyed a better life to some extent during the Trinamul regime,” said Gopal Chandra Ghosh, an advocate.
Trinamul is highlighting its success in water supply, street lighting, road improvement, door-to-door collection of garbage and free medical treatment for men over 65 years and women over 60.
Calcutta mayor Subrata Mukherjee introduced a water tax only to revert it. However, the chairman of the Uttarpara-Kotrung municipality, Pinaki Dhamali, did not introduce the tax.
“My logic is very simple. The Uttarpara-Kotrung municipality is financially solvent and when we are in a position to pay the Rs 6 lakh annually to the Calcutta Metropolitan Water and Sanitation Authority for the use of filtered water, why should we impose a tax on my people'” asked Dhamali.