TRINAMOOL SWEEPS RURAL POLLS IN BENGAL, BJP 2ND
KOLKATA: Mamata Banerjeee’s Trinamool Congress was on course to score a thumping victory in the violence-ridden rural polls in West Bengal, the first results showed on Thursday, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a distant second, and the Left and the Congress virtually wiped out in all three tiers of the panchayat structure in the state.
The rural polls are significant because they are the last panbengal electoral exercise before the Lok Sabha elections next year and their outcome would serve as a gauge of the support base that the contestants have in the eastern state.
The BJP is aiming to win at least 22 of the 42 seats that West Bengal fills in the Lok Sabha. Trinamool supremo and West Bengal chief minister Banerjee, who is trying to help form an anti-bjp front of regional parties ahead of the parliamentary elections, is looking to make it an opposition-free state at every level. Until 8pm on Thursday, the ruling party had won 19,394 (68%) of the 28,456 gram panchayat seats for which results had been declared. It had also bagged 1,842 (88.34%) of the 2,085 panchayat samiti seats and 62 of the 63 zilla parishad seats.