Bengal panchayat bypolls: Impressive show by Trinamool

Kolkata, Oct 7 (IANS) West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress continued its formidable performance by picking up the bulk of seats in the panchayat bypolls, even as the opposition Left Front pulled off a stunning victory in the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad.

As votes were counted on Wednesday, Trinamool’s most spectacular performance came in Murshidabad district, regarded as a pocket borough of the Congress and its state president Adhir Ranjan Chwodhury.

So long marginalised as the third largest force after the Congress and the Left Front in the district, the Trinamool cut into the vote bank of its opponents, winning a dozen of the 26 gram panchayat seats, reducing the Congress to eight seats, while the CPI-M managed four. Independents triumphed in two seats.

The Trinamool retained the momentum in the panchayat samiti. Out of eight seats, the Trinamool bagged four seats, as against three by the Congress. The CPI-M got a solitary success.

The Trinamool also won most of the seats in Purulia, West Midnapore, East Midnapore, Bankura, Nadia, South 24 Parganas and Birbhum districts. There was a close fight in Jalpaiguri and North 24 Parganas districts.

The Left Front, which had been steadily losing ground in the state since 2008, had some good news from northern West Bengal, where it seized the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (SMP).

Months after the Left Front came up trumps in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation, the combine won six of the nine seats in the SMP. The Trinamool got the remaining three.

The CPI-M captured two panchayat samities, while two others were hung.

Of the 462 gram panchayat seats, 173 went to the CPI-M, while the Trinamool won 156.

The Congress got 61, while the BJP won 22.

Among the Left Front partners, the CPI, RSP and the Forward Bloc won two, four and eight, respectively.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha got one, while independents won 34 seats.

There was a tie in one seat.

The polls were held on October 3.

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