KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress won four out of the seven Bengal towns that had gone into municipal election last Sunday and created history by taking control of a Mirik Municipality in the hills and becoming the first political mainstream political party from the plains to win an election+ in the last three decades.
Trinamool Congress won Pujali in south 24 parganas, Domkal in Murshidabad, Raiganj in north Dinajpur and Mirik in Darjeeling. In all the four municipalities, Trinamool Congress swept the election results+ .
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At Pujali, TMC won 12 out of the 16 wards with BJP coming second with only 2 wards. At Domkal, TMC won 20 out of the 21 wards. The opposition of Congress – Left alliance had initially won 3 wards but immediately after the results, two of them – Rafikul Islam of ward 20 and Ashadul Islam of ward 9 joined Trinamool Congress, cutting down their tally to just 1. This was the first ever election for the Domkal Municipality.
Raigani Municipality, that was in control of Congress prior to the election was also swept by the TMC that won 24 out of the 27 wards. At Mirik TMC won 6 out of 9 wards, beating the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha – BJP alliance for the first time for any political party in the plains since 1986
The three other towns in the hills – Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong however remained in control with GJM even as TMC. GJM won 31 out of the 32 seats in Darjeeling and 17 out of 20 wards in Kurseong. At Kalimpong, whose results, came out last among the seven municipalities was also won by the GJM- BJP alliance. The alliance led in 11 out of 23 wards while Harka Bahadur Chhetri led Jan Andolan Party (JAP) won 2 seats and TMC won 2 seats.
Aroop Biswas, the state minister and the Trinamool Congress observer for Darjeeling district said the win at Mirik was the result of chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s tireless efforts at the hills and said democracy was restored in several years for the first time in the hills.
“Mamata Banerjee visited the hills several times and has been able to understand the needs of the people and have been able to convince them about their rights. Mirik has opened the doors of development in the hills and we will take it forward to the other places from here and are sure to fare even better in the hills in the coming years,” said Biswas.
Trinamool general secretary Partha Chattopadhyay said the wins did not come to him by surprise. “We were expecting the wins but the margin of the victory has been satisfying. At Mirik, people had complained that those in power had done little development and had misused the funds so they have voted for us. Our motto is development and that is the path we are going to tread,” he said.