Tripura civic polls: Bengal BJP celebrates, TMC emerges as main Opposition
The TMC, which has left the CPI(M) behind to emerge as the main Opposition of the BJP in several wards of Tripura's municipal bodies, said on Sunday that its ‘exceptional’ performance, despite being a new entrant in the state, is an indicator of the party's prospects in 2023 assembly elections.
The BJP leadership, rejoicing over the saffron camp's emphatic win in the northeastern state, however, stated that the civic poll results have exposed the "hollowness" of TMC's claims of having made inroads in Tripura.
Several BJP workers here were seen feasting on sweets and smearing each other with 'gulal' during the day to celebrate their party's victory in the neighbouring state.
Taking to Twitter, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, nevertheless, said that it was "exceptional" for his party, which had negligible presence in Tripura, to have clinched "20 per cent of the vote share".
"This is despite the fact that we commenced our activities barely 3 months ago and @BJP4Tripura left no stone unturned to BUTCHER DEMOCRACY in Tripura. Congratulations to all the brave soldiers of @AITC4Tripura for their exemplary courage," he tweeted.
Echoing him, the TMC's West Bengal general secretary and spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that his party has been able to secure the second position in several seats, "despite the violence unleashed by the ruling BJP" there.
"2023 is ours, it (the results) forms the foundation of Trinamool's victory in 2023," Ghosh tweeted as results keep pouring in from different municipal bodies.
He claimed that the TMC has been able to gain support of a considerable section of people.
Alleging that the BJP was forming municipal boards by securing wins through violence and intimidation, the TMC leader further accused the police and the state election commission in Tripura of favouring the saffron party.
He thanked party workers for their efforts and the people of Tripura for their support.
Earlier in the day, BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh told reporters here that the saffron camp shares a "strong bond" with the residents of that state.
The TMC will not be able to open its account in Tripura "unless the BJP decides against fielding candidate from a seat", he maintained.
"The civic poll results are on expected lines. The TMC did not have any chance to open its account in Tripura, they only made noises. This verdict shows hired people from West Bengal cannot help a party create a base in a state, which has faith in the BJP and not in Trinamool," the BJP leader underlined.
Leader of opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari extended his wishes to BJP workers and leaders and Tripura.
"Heartiest congratulations @BJP4Tripura & Hon'ble CM @BjpBiplab for registering landslide victory in Agartala Corporation & all other Nagar Panchayats and Municipalities. We are grateful to the people of Tripura for wiping out the corrupt & fascist Tolamool (extortionist) party of Bengal," he wrote on the microblogging platform.
Adhikari was apparently referring to allegations of extortion and corruption levelled by the opposition camps in Bengal against the ruling TMC in the recent past.
BJP's Bengal unit president Sukanta Majumdar told reporters that the TMC had tried to create a false impression about its popularity in Tripura.
"The TMC tried to destabilise the situation in Tripura by taking miscreants there from Bengal. The party has no support base in that state," he added.