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Friday , May 3 , 2013
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Trinamul misses train

Calcutta, May 2: The Trinamul Congress suffered a drubbing at the railway union elections in Bengal, finishing a distant third in all three zones.

The INTTUC-backed railway employees’ unions in the Metro, Eastern and South Eastern railway zones failed to hit the vote percentage required for official recognition.

The results of the elections, held between April 25 and 27, were declared today.

Trinamul-supported unions had fought the polls in the three Bengal zones — out of 17 in the country — including at Eastern Railway’s Kanchrapara factory, the home turf of the party’s all-India general secretary Mukul Roy.

Madan Mitra, Trinamul minister and the president of the party’s Metro Rail union, had personally campaigned. This was the first time that union elections were held in Metro Rail as it was not a separate zone earlier.

In the Metro, the Left-backed MTP Railway Men’s Union secured 46 per cent votes while the Congress’s Metro Railway Workers’ Congress bagged 27.33 per cent. A workers’ union in the railways needs to secure at least 30 per cent of the total votes and 35 per cent of the votes polled to become a recognised union even if it comes second.

Trinamul’s Metro Rail Pragatishil Shramik Karmachari Union secured 23.5 per cent votes in Metro Rail and the Eastern Railway Employees’ and Workers’ Congress received 11.65 per cent. The South Eastern Railway Men’s Trinamul Congress could not cross 5.21 per cent.

The Left-affiliated All India Railway Men’s Federation won in 16 out of the total 17 railway zones across the country while the Congress-backed National Federation of Indian Railways won at the South Eastern Railway zone.

“The Left and Congress-backed unions traditionally enjoy strong support in the railways. Trinamul fought the elections for the first time and in Bengal, the division of votes with the Congress might have also affected its prospects,” said a rail official.

Sources said the Trinamul exit from the Centre also might have taken a toll.

At the Kanchrapara workshop, the Trinamul union finished third among the four. Local MLA and Roy’s son Subhranghsu said: “The entire thing happened inside the railway office and they have no connection with local people whose blessings are still with us.”

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