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Bengal civic elections: Trinamul headed towards a clean sweep

Little-known Hamro Party in Darjeeling putting up a brave fight
Till 10.30am, out of the 2,276 wards in the state, the Trinamul was leading in 1,263, while the rest are literally, far, far behind.
Till 10.30am, out of the 2,276 wards in the state, the Trinamul was leading in 1,263, while the rest are literally, far, far behind.
File picture.

Arnab Ganguly   |   Calcutta   |   Published 02.03.22, 11:11 AM

The twin flowers on grass are blooming all over Bengal as the ruling Trinamul Congress heads for a clean sweep of making it 108-nil in the long overdue civic elections of the state held last Sunday.

As results started trickling in from different corners of Bengal, the Trinamul was miles ahead of its rivals, the three mainstream Opposition parties, the BJP, the CPM and the Congress, as was predicted by most poll pundits. Till 10.30am, out of the 2,276 wards in the state, the Trinamul was leading in 1,263, while the rest are literally, far, far behind.

“We want to win in all the 108 wards,” former minister and Trinamul’s winning nominee from Cooch Behar municipality’s ward 8 Rabindranath Ghosh had thundered early in the morning.

Any result other than a complete green cover across the civic boards of Bengal would be a loss of face for the ruling Trinamul that had the entire administrative and police machinery backing its organisational strength in the run-up to voting day amid Opposition allegations that the ruling party had vitiated the poll field by widespread use of terror against rivals and and their supporters. 

 A day before the results, Trinamul’s Dum Dum MP Saugata Roy had expressed regret over the widespread violence on Sunday as a wrong message to the electorate. The state Governor, Jagdeep Dhankhar, who has a deep and running feud with the Mamata Banerjee government which borders on the personal, had described Sunday’s polls as "war:".

For the time being, the Trinamul leadership has chosen to ignore the message to tighten its stranglehold over the entire state, as it decimated strongholds of rivals like the Adhikari family of Contai, also the home of Bengal’s leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari. 

Till last reports, Trinamul had won 17 of the 21 wards, with three going to the BJP. The Adhikari family had a tight grip over Contai and the rest of the two Midnapores since the days the district was undivided. Suvendu had switched to the BJP in December-2020 and defeated Mamata Banerjee from Nandigram in the Assembly polls. This time, the Trinamul’s machinery proved stronger than the Adhikari family’s pull over Contai.

The story, in that sense, is largely similar for the rest of the state as civic bodies in districts as diverse as Burdwan, Cooch Behar and Murshidabad, to cite a few examples are going the Trinamul way.

The only party to have tripped the Trinamul juggernaut appears to be a little known outfit in the Darjeeling hills, the Hamro Party which has won 13 wards, followed by the Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha’s three, the Trinamul’s two and one to Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, which till a decade ago called the shots in the hills.



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