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Civic appetiser before LS main course

Calcutta, Sept. 25: Mamata Banerjee has told her close aides she wants to complete the decimation of the Opposition by winning the civic polls on November 22, fresh from her success in the municipal elections whose results were announced yesterday.

Polls will be held to the Howrah municipal corporation and the four municipalities of Behrampore, Jhargram, Midnapore and Krishnagar in November.

The elections will give Trinamul the opportunity to establish its control over a substantial section of urban and semi-urban voters in Bengal, sources said today.

Mamata, the sources said, wants to achieve the goal before beginning her campaign for next year’s Lok Sabha elections with a rally at the Brigade Parade Grounds on November 25.

The Left runs the Howrah municipal corporation and the Jhargram municipality, while the Congress is in charge of the Krishnagar and Behrampore civic bodies. Trinamul is in charge of the Midnapore municipality.

Barring the civic body in Behrampore, the home turf of Congress strongman Adhir Chowdhury, Trinamul is confident of winning the remaining municipalities, the sources said.

“Mamatadi has asked us to leave no stone unturned to make a clean sweep in Krishnagar as we have done in Chakdah (in the same district),” said Gouri Shankar Dutta, the Trinamul Nadia president.

Trinamul sources said snatching the Howrah municipal corporation from the CPM was Mamata’s “top priority”.

Mamata has often accused the CPM-run Howrah corporation of not co-operating with the urban development department in implementing projects and providing basic amenities to residents.

Trinamul leaders said Mamata’s announcement of investments worth Rs 50,000 crore for Jungle Mahal would stand the party in good stead in the Jhargram municipal polls.