The Trinamool Congress registered its highest-ever vote share in any election by securing about 51.14% votes in the recently concluded West Bengal panchayat polls.
So far, the highest vote share recorded by the Trinamool Congress was in the 2021 Assembly election when the party secured 47.8% of the votes.
In the panchayat elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured 22.88% votes, whereas the Communist Party of India (Marxist) got 12.56% votes. The Congress secured about 6.42% votes, while the Indian Secular Front (ISF) secured about 2% votes.
The combined vote strength of the Left Front, the Congress and the ISF comes to 20.98%. The alliance of the Left, the Congress and the ISF is breathing down the neck of the BJP, which is the main Opposition party in the State.
The Trinamool Congress has benefited from the triangular contest and won 79% of the gram panchayats, 92% of panchayat samitis and 100% of zilla parishads. In terms of absolute numbers, of the 3,317 gram panchayats that went to polls in the State, the Trinamool Congress won 2,634 gram panchayats.
As regards 341 panchayat samitis, the Trinamool won 317, the BJP six and the Left parties two. In nine panchayat samitis, “others” (Independents and other parties) won, while seven panchayat samitis threw a hung mandate. The Trinamool Congress won all 20 zilla parishads.
Protest rally in Kolkata
Meanwhile, leaders of the Left Front, the Congress and the ISF took out a rally in Kolkata on Thursday in protest against the violence during the panchayat polls.
A number of key leaders of the CPI(M), including State secretary Md. Salim and Left Front chairperson Biman Bose, participated in the rally from Esplanade to Entally.
BJP team meets Governor
During the day, a four-member BJP fact-finding delegation led by former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad met Governor C.V. Ananda Bose.
Speaking to mediapersons, the BJP leader said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had stopped listening to the grievances of the people. Mr. Prasad, who is visiting areas affected by violence, said the Chief Minister had merely expressed regret over the panchayat poll violence, but what was required was strict action.
The BJP fact-finding team visited Basanti in the State’s South 24 Parganas on Thursday and met party leaders said to have been affected by the violence.
In another development, a group of BJP supporters who had fled to Assam from Cooch Behar in the State returned to their homes. Trinamool Congress leader Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said the BJP delegation should include the Governor. Dr. Bose had visited areas affected by political violence during the run-up to the rural polls.
During the day, the State’s Chief Secretary held a meeting with the ‘Force Coordinator’, Inspector General, BSF, as per directions of the Calcutta High Court for deployment of Central forces. The court had directed that meetings be held and policy decisions be taken to contain post-poll violence. More than 40 persons had died in poll violence. The State government has put the number of deceased at 19.
Meanwhile, there were reports of four persons suffering injuries in a crude bomb explosion at Bhangar in South 24 Parganas. Within two days of declaration of results of panchayat polls, some of the winning candidates of the Opposition parties started defecting to the ruling party. Reports of such defections came from Gayeshpur in Nadia, Bagnan in Howrah and Shamsherganj in Murshidabad.