West Bengal panchayat poll: TMC leads, BJP second

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"This is the type of results we are creating and expecting in future", he said.

The Mamata Banerjee-led ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) established a strong lead in the just-concluded panchayat polls across 20 districts of West Bengal.

Meanwhile, opposition parties reported this to the state election commission which suspended the counting process at the venue.

However, the ruling TMC continues to be the dominant force in most districts.

In South 24 Parganas district's Bhangar that has been on the boil over the construction of a power grid sub-station by the state government in the last one year, Independent candidates backed by Jomi-Jibika-Bastutantra O Poribesh Rokkha Committee (committee for protecting life, livelihood, ecology and environment) won five out of the eight Gram Panchayat seats, where they had filed their nominations via WhatsApp.

Of the 6,158 Panchayat Samiti seats that were contested, TMC has won 1,110 Panchayat Samiti seats and is leading in another 464 seats whereas BJP has won 87 seats and is leading in another 33. BJP is leading in the second position with 24 blocks.

The Trinamool Congress also seemed on track to win all 20 Zila Parishads. They also won 57 per cent of Panchayat Samitis and 51 per cent of the Gram Panchayats. "Those seats which witnessed uncontested win were not contested by the Opposition parties because they failed to field candidates there", she said. Here too, independent candidates have made their mark by winning 12 seats and leading in another 2 seats.

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The western part of Bengal, especially the tribal belt of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura has thrown up many independent candidates, who put up a tough fight, notwithstanding terror, intimidation and resistance of all possible means to come out victorious. The CPI (M) trailed far behind with 13 seats and the Congress is yet to open its account.

BJP emerged as the main challenger to the TMC in gram panchayat in nearly every districts except Murshidabad and Malda, the two Congress strongholds.

In Murshidabad, the TMC has bagged 466 seats, followed by the Congress with 83 seats.

The BJP has got support from unexpected quarters, with senior CPI (M) leader Gautam Deb coming out in favour of president's rule in the state.

TMC is leading in seats from Bilkanda I and II, Patulia, Mohanpur and Rajhat Siul.

And as the results started pouring in, the Left was known to bite dust again with the TMC sweeping rural polls winning all the Zilla Parishads (district boards), and doing exceptionally well at the Panchayat Samiti and Gram Panchayat level, that would provide a solid foundation for the Mamata party in the 2019 general elections. According to State Election Commisison till 7.30 pm, out of total 48,660 seat, 31,802 gram anchayat seats were contested.

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