Free Press Journal

Bengal civic polls: BJP, Congress put up brave front


Bengal Violence, Voting

Kolkata: Despite its inability to make much headway in 91 civic bodies across West Bengal and bagging just seven seats in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls, the BJP on Tuesday asserted it was continuing to gain ground in the state.

Describing the April 18 KMC polls and the April 25 polls to 91 civic bodies as a “farce”, state Bharatiya Janata Party chief Rahul Sinha said “only the Trinamool’s muscle power” and the BJP’s political strength increased in the poll battle.

“While the results do not signify the real picture because the entire poll process was hijacked by the Trinamool, still, two things have emerged — one is Trinamool’s increased muscle power and two is BJP’s rise in Bengal,” said Sinha.

Flaying Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool for using the administration and the state poll panel for electoral gains, Sinha said the ruling party’s main target was the BJP.

Sinha said in the KMC contest, the BJP more than doubled its strength from the three seats it won five years back to seven this time, “besides finishing runners up in close to 50 seats”.

“In the districts, we have opened our account in many areas where we drew blank last time. The situation is such that the BJP’s help is a must to form the board in a number of civic bodies,” Sinha added.

On the KMC elections, he said the Trinamool resorted to more attacks in those areas where the BJP was perceived to be strong.

“Had the polls not been a farce, not only our performance would have been far better, the Trinamool wouldn’t have been able to form the board too,” he said.

Speaking in the same vein, state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury slammed the Trinamool’s terror tactics.

“Everybody knew Trinamool would win the polls, but the only ones not to believe were the Trinamool leaders and their supremo Mamata Banerjee.

“If they really were confident about their win, then they wouldn’t have indulged in such violence. Trinamool may have registered an electoral victory but they have failed to score any political victory,” said Chowdhury.

“Everybody had written off the Congress from Bengal. Nobody had given us a chance of even getting a seat, so from there, we have got five civic bodies and 12 are hung including Katwa (municipality in Burdwan district). We all know how much violence happened in Katwa and despite that, we bagged 10 seats and it’s a hung house,” added Chowdhury.

In the 144-ward KMC, the Trinamool bagged 114, followed by the Left Front with 15, the BJP 7 and the Congress 5, while the remaining three went to independents.