The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cong beats CPM 23-0 on Adhir home turf

Dec. 1: The Congress retained the Behrampore and Krishnagar municipalities while the Left Front retained the Jhargram civic body and the Howrah Municipal Corporation, elections to which were held yesterday.

It was two-all at the end of the day but the Congress won 23-nil in Behrampore. The party swept the polls for the second successive term on MP Adhir Chowdhury’s home ground.

In Krishnagar, the Congress put up a better show than five years ago. It won 18 of the 24 seats. In 1998, the Congress-run municipality had 11 councillors. The party has been in power here since 1964.

This time, leave alone the CPM, not even the Independents it backed managed to secure a ward. The Independents, too, had used the hammer-and-sickle symbol. The party had fielded its candidates in a dozen seats. Front constituent Socialist Party won two seats and two others were won by front-backed Independents.

State CPM secretary Anil Biswas said the people in Behrampore and Krishnagar were aloof from the party. “People in these two municipal areas have not accepted our ideology. We will have to reach out to the people,” he said.

The outcome of the polls came as a major disappointment for the Trinamul-BJP combine, which failed to win a seat in Behrampore and Krishnagar. With two seats, Trinamul registered a token presence in Jhargram. In Howrah, till late evening, the front had won 23 seats out of 50 and the Congress four.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Pankaj Banerjee of Trinamul said the results were the natural outcome of the “strong-arm tactics adopted by the CPM and its secret entente with the Congress”.

The front improved its tally marginally in Jhargram by winning 12 out of 17 seats.

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