Final results are out: TMC wins four municipalities, GJM gets three
Of the seven municipal corporations that saw elections, the Trinamool Congress has clinched four seats — Pujali, Domkal and Raiganj in the state's plain areas, and Mirik in the hills of Darjeeling. The GJM retained its control over three other civic bodies in north Bengal's hills: Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.
Left Front is finished from one more state — Bengal
Left Front continued with its poor performance in Bengal after Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. It managed to win only two wards, lesser than Congress (four) and BJP (three). It is a shocking result considering it ruled the state for 34 years.
Left Parties in India who were formed to deliver socio-economic benefits to the working people and oppose neo-liberal economic policies.
However, it soon became a government of contractors. The party got burdened by cronyism which is the case across political parties and ideologies who have tasted power. Power Corrupts!
The Brahmanisation of the party is being resisted by people of other castes/classes.
Amit Shah’s pattal diplomacy fails in Bengal
Amit Shah had spent a few days in Bengal trying to revive party’s fortunes in the civic elections. However, it failed miserably, winning only three wards. Its partner GJM did well in the hills, its traditional stronghold. Shah had dinner at a Dalit’s home in a pattal. The next day the couple joined the Trinamool.
BJP lacks strong local charismatic leaders. In Bengal, parties who have succeeded carried out agitation politics, rail roko, jams, bandhs. All these work.
Additionally, BJP’s caste manipulations will not work in Bengal. The state is more about class politics. It has failed to understand this despite successive losses. Party’s support is restricted to rich & upper middle class. The poor and lower class swear by the name of Mamata, which is hard to crack.
TMC happy over its performance in Gorkha party-dominated hills
TMC leader Gautam Deb was quoted by News18 as saying, “We are happy that for the first time, people in the hills have voted for a party from the plains. This shows that people in the hills now understand that they were cheated by the GJM.”
The latest from the West Bengal municipal polls
West Bengal civic polls: Raijang TMC-24, BJP-1, INC+CPI(M)-2; Darjeerling GJM- 31, TMC-1; Kerseong GJM-17, TMC-3; Kalimpong GJM-18, TMC-2— ANI (@ANI_news) May 17, 2017
TMC makes dent in Gorkhaland, wins Mirik civic polls
TMC has a lot to cheer about in these election results. It has won Mirik, which is in the hills, and a stronghold of Gorkha statehood parties. While TMC won six seats, GJM could win only three. Food for thought for the regional parties. Their factionalism and infighting seems to have helped TMC.
“The victory of TMC in Mirik proves that the people of the hills have reposed their faith in the chief minister. During campaigning, the residents used to tell us that development always bypasses Mirik,” said state public works minister Aroop Biswas.
GJM sweeps Kalimpong polls
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha wins Kalimpong with 19 seats, while the Trinamool Congress has won just two seats. Others have captured two seats too.
Mamata Banerjee's charm holds sway over Bengal
Mamata is now the 'queen' of Bengal. Her rustic, maverick style is loved by the people. She is seen as the 'Robinhood' who freed state from the corrupt rule of Left. She is the 'Modi' of Bengal. BJP, Left and the Indian National Congress have no chance and hope left after these results.
Mamata is the 'Modi' of Bengal
TMC has won the four municipalities which went to polls recently. All these three are in the plains, in the four municipalities in the hills, TMC was never been strong. She has won 83 percent of the seats in the plains. Clearly, this proves that Narada and Sharada has no impact on her. This also proves that there is no Modi wave in Bengal. The entire propaganda of BJP, Mission Bengal 2021, is all a sham.
TMC euphoric after victory in municipal polls
In a short statement on the election results, the Trinamool Congress took potshots at the BJP stating that the people of Bengal have yet again rejected the opposition forces and ploys to play divisive politics.
Trinamool Congress speaks after poll win
“People of Bengal have yet again reposed their faith on the development initiatives of Mamata Banerjee," the Trinamool Congress was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying after reports of its victory trickled in.
Alliance with Mamata helped JAP?
Chhetri was backed by Mamata, who was desperate to make an in-road in Darjeeling and break GJM’s monopoly. However, it is to be noted that in the 2016 elections, he had failed to retain his Kalimpong seat.
Jan Andolan Party opens its account by winning one seat in Kalimpong
In what is a revenge of sorts for Harika Bahadur Chhetri, his newly formed party bagged a seat in Kalimpong civic polls. JAP was formed just before 2016 state elections when Chhetri, the then spokesperson of GJM, floated his own party after falling out with Bimal Gurung.
Some background about GJM
GJM has been spearheading the movement for a separate state of Gorakhland since the 1970s. It is still the most dominant issue in the hills of Bengal.
GJM runs the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), formed through tripartite agreement between GJM, Centre and TMC government in July 2011 and has proven once again that it continues to be the most vocal political force in the hills.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha continues its dominance in the hills
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), a constituent of NDA at the center has swept the Darjeeling civic polls bagging 31 out of 32 seats. TMC could sneak in just one seat.
This is in line with the 2016 assembly results when TMC, despite sweeping the entire state, failed to win in the foothills and hills district of Darjeeling. Led by Bimal Gurung the party had won all the three seats – Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Kurseong. The Jote (CPM-Congress) alliance had bagged the other three seats.
Trinamool sweeps Bengal civic polls; result shows Left, Congress, BJP offer no threat to TMC's superiority
Trinamool Congress swept Domkol municipality in West Bengal's Murshidabad district, winning 20 out of 21 wards. Along with Raiganj and Pujali, TMC has now wiped out the Left-Congress opposition from all the three municipalities from Bengal's plain areas that went to civic polls. The results make it clear that Left and Congress are no longer a political force in Bengal. It also shows that the BJP still has a long, long way to go before challenging TMC's hegemony. With Domkol, TMC has now bagged four out of seven civic bodies that held elections on Sunday.
GJM sweeps Darjeeling with 31 out of 32 wards
GJM, which has traditionally been strong in the hills of north Bengal, won the Darjeeling municipality, bagging 31 out of 32 wards. The TMC-GNLF combine won the other ward.
Trinamool becomes first party from plains to win Hills in 40 years
In Kurseong municipal elections, Bimal Gurung's Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, which had tied up with the BJP for the civic elections, managed to perform very well, winning 17 out of 20 wards. Trinamool, which tied up with Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), won the rest. But more importantly, Trinamool won from Mirik in Darjeeling district, the first time a party from the plains (albeit with the help of a tie-up with GNLF) has won from the hills in 40 years.
Trinamool wins 20 out of 21 seats in Domkal; BJP gets zero
It's nearly a clean sweep for Trinamool Congress in Murshidabad's Domkal municipal polls, the party clinching 20 out of 21 seats. The Congress-Left Front combine got the one solitary seat to deny a Trinamool whitewash. BJP won zero.
Mamata extends lead, even as Opposition cries foul
In violence-hit Raiganj municipality of Bengal's North Dimapur district, Trinamool Congress won 15 out of 20 wards declared so far. Though the total number of wards are 27, Trinamool already has an unassailable majority in Raiganj. Opposition parties like Left Front, Congress and BJP had demanded a repoll at Raiganj alleging widespread violence. Left leader Surjya Kanta Mishra had said that three CPM workers had sustained bullet injuries during Sunday's polls.
Trinamool clinches violence-hit Pujali municipal corporation
Pujali municipality under the state's South 24 Paragnas district went to Trinamool Congress, with Mamata Banerjee's party winning 12 out of 16 wards. Significantly, BJP won two wards and Congress, which had an unofficial seat-sharing arrangement with the Left Front, just one. Pujali is among the three seats which saw large scale violence during Sunday's polling, with opposition parties accusing TMC of "terrorising voters, rival polling officers and rigging". Asadul Islam, TMC's winning candidate, told a TV channel that this is the win for "Mamata Banerjee's development politics".
TMC storms to early lead on counting day
After early trends suggested a victory for the ruling Trinamool Congress, party leader Subhendu Adhikari told CNN-News18 that the win would be a victory against "communal forces".
Sitaram Yechury calls violence-hit polls a 'mockery of democracy'
Describing the violence and "rampant irregularities" in Sunday's civic polls as a "mockery of democracy", CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Sunday slammed West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress for its "blatant misuse" of the state machinery.
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TMC's win a huge setback to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha
Six of the nine wards in Mirik municipality went to to Trinamool Congress-Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) alliance, signalling the first time a party from the plains has won the hills of northern West Bengal. Bengal is a state which has witnessed a strong Gorkhaland movement in the past. This is a huge setback for Bimal Gurung's Gorkha Janamukti Morcha and a tectonic shift in politics of the hills.
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Kolkata: Moderate to brisk polling for seven civic bodies in West Bengal was reported on Sunday, as the principal opposition parties, the Left Front, Congress and BJP, demanded scrapping of the "farcical" elections amid alleged violence and booth capturing in three municipalities.
A CPM leader claimed that at least four party workers were injured in poll violence.
Activists of the Congress and the Left Front, which forged an undeclared alliance for the civic polls, staged a noisy demonstration at the State Election Commission office and resorted to a road blockade to protest what they called "rampant looting of votes" by the ruling Trinamool Congress.
The protest was held after poll authorities allegedly refused to meet their leaders and accept their memorandum on complaints regarding voting in three municipalities of Raiganj in North Dinajpur district, Domkal in Murshidabad district, and Pujali in South 24 Parganas district.
The SEC officials promised to meet the Congress and Left representatives after demonstrators broke through police barricades. However, the SEC authorities later did not meet them citing their preoccupation with poll matters.
Later, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists also demonstrated at the same spot, complaining against electoral malpractices.
In Domkal, Pujali and Raiganj, the Trinamool is up against an undeclared seat adjustment between the Congress and the Left Front.
Polling was, however, peaceful in four municipalities in northern Bengal hills — Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik, in Darjeeling district, and Kalimpong in Kalimpong district.
CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra alleged that the elections were far from "free and fair".
"In Domkal, motorcycle-borne outsiders attacked our workers and voters with bombs and pistols. The local administration looked the other way. Since morning, elections have been a farce. Three of our workers were injured when they were fired upon by Trinamool-backed miscreants. Another worker suffered broken limbs," said Mishra.
He alleged that all polling booths were captured by the Trinamool supporters in Raiganj and Pujali.
"The polling agents of the Congress and Left Front were driven out and electronic voting machines damaged. Even journalists were not spared," he said.
He demanded countermanding of the elections in Domkal, Pujali and Raiganj. "But we have no illusion that fresh elections will be impartial. This shows it is not possible to hold proper polls so long as the Trinamool is in power," the CPM leader said.
State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury instructed all his party candidates in Domkal to withdraw from the polls, describing the elections as a "farce".
Former Congress MP from Raiganj Deepa Dasmunshi alleged that opposition workers came under intense attack from Trinamool supported "goons".
She said genuine voters were not allowed to exercise their franchise in Raiganj. "Police and civil officials made no effort to provide protection to voters or our workers," she said.
The elections to the municipalities spread across five districts in the northern, central and southern areas of the state will provide a peek into the mind of voters in small towns.
The polls are a test for the Trinamool to continue its electoral successes and make fresh inroads in the north Bengal hills by breaking the stranglehold of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. The BJP is striving to to carry forward its bid to become the main opposition force in the state. For the Congress and Left Front, the challenge is to revive their political fortunes against the backdrop of electoral battles wherein both lost ground to the BJP.
Updated Date: May 17, 2017 13:03 PM
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