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Trinamool sweeps Bengal rural polls

TMC supporters celebrate with a poster of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on their win in Panchayat elections, in North 24 Parganas on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The ruling Triamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday swept West Bengal’s panchayat polls held on May 14. The BJP, which appeared to be a distant second, made its presence felt in districts like Purulia and Jhargram in the State’s Jangalmahal region by putting up some resistance to the ruling party.

Other than these two districts, from the Himalayan foothills to the Sunderbans in the Bay of Bengal, the Trinamool is leading in about 75% of seats at the gram panchayat level and almost 90% seats at the panchayat samiti and zilla parishad levels. Since the elections were held using ballot papers, the counting of votes is likely to continue late into the night.

Of the 31,814 seats which went to the polls at the gram panchayat level, Trinamool won 19,394 seats and the BJP bagged 5,050 seats till late in the evening.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee congratulated the winners and said that Trinamool had secured 90% of the seats that went to the polls.

In Jhargram district, of the 780 gram panchayats that went to the polls, 373 seats were won by Trinamool and 329 by BJP. Similarly, in Purulia, of 1,921 seats where voting was held at the gram panchayat level, Trinamool won 754 and the BJP 528.

Bhangar in the State’s South 24 Parganas district provided some succour to the Opposition.

Five of the nine candidates of the Committee for the Protection of Land, Livelihood, Ecology and Environment (CPLLEE), who filed nomination papers online as per the directions of the High Court, won gram panchayat seats in the Polerhat II area.

The CPLLEE is supported by locals and members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Red Star and has been locked in a bitter struggle with local Trinamool leaders over a proposed power plant in the area for the past two years.

Independent candidates

An interesting aspect of the polls is the seats won by independent candidates.

Till late in the evening, independents had won 1,465 gram panchayat seats, which is higher than the 1,186 seats won by the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Most of the independent candidates are Trinamool supporters, who were denied ticket by the party.

The seats won by Congress at various levels were also negligble.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 6:27:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/west-bengal-panchayat-polls-results/article23916239.ece

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