The ruling Trinamool Congress has not been able to defeat the West Bengal Legislative Assembly. But the election to provide services to the city of Calcutta, the vote of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, almost wiped out the opposition Trinamool. In Kolkata, Trinamool has won out of 144 wards or is far ahead in 134 wards. In the last Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections of 2015, the Trinamool got 114 seats.
The state’s main opposition BJP won six of the 294 seats in the assembly elections last May. They have won the Calcutta Corporation elections in only three wards. The final turnout was not known until late at night. But the BJP’s vote is likely to be below 10 percent. In the last assembly elections, the BJP got 36 percent of the vote. In other words, the ruling BJP in India lost its position in the municipal elections in Kolkata. In fact, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP did not rise in the politics of India and West Bengal, the BJP won three seats in the 2010 Calcutta Corporation elections. They also got those three seats in the election of 2021 Municipal Corporation. The BJP could not hold on to the seven seats it won in the 2015 municipal elections.
On the other hand, in addition to winning 134 (not final) wards out of 144, the grassroots vote share in Kolkata went up to over 60 per cent. They got 48 percent votes in the last assembly elections. In other words, there was almost no strong opposition from the grassroots in Calcutta Municipality.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha and the 2021 Assembly, the Left has not won a single seat in West Bengal. In the Calcutta Corporation elections, the Left not only got two wards, but their turnout went up to 11 per cent. In the 2021 assembly elections, the Left Front’s vote share was 5.6 percent.
In other words, in Calcutta, the Left Front, including the CPIM (Communist Party of India-Marxist), got more votes than the BJP. For the first time in the last 10 years, the people of Kolkata turned away from the BJP and voted for the Left again. In fact, the Left is second only to the Trinamool in 65 of the 144 wards and the BJP is second in 54 wards. However, in the last municipal corporation election in 2015, the Left won 15 wards. CPIM leader Sujan Chakraborty said they would have got more votes if the vote had not been rigged. However, many observers have suggested that the BJP may return to second place in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, as the Left does not have the financial means or infrastructure to run in the by-elections.
Alleging vote rigging, BJP leader in the Assembly Shuvendu Adhikari said on social media, “Congratulations” to the State Election Commission for keeping the closed circuit cameras useless inside the booths, for voting with faulty voting machines to win the grassroots and for not speaking out against police terrorism.
Trinamool Congress leader and state chief minister Mamata Banerjee has congratulated the winning Trinamool candidates.
The election results of 144 wards of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, which was held amidst clashes, rigging and widespread terror, will be announced on Tuesday. The counting of the results has started at 8 in the morning.
According to the latest news, out of these 144 wards, Trinamool is going to win in 133 wards. The BJP is winning in 3 wards and the Left Party and the Congress in 4 and 2 wards respectively. Two non-party candidates are also winning.
The Booth Return poll on Sunday said the Trinamool would win by a landslide. The poll also found that the grassroots could get 56 percent of the vote. The BJP could get 28 per cent, the Left Front 5 per cent, the Congress 6 per cent and others 2 per cent. Of the 144 wards, the Trinamool could get 131, the BJP 13 and the Left, the Congress and others could get zero seats. The results show that the ruling party failed to nullify the Trinamool Congress, the opposition Left Party and the Congress. In the last elections in 2015, Trinamool won 114 seats, BJP 8, Left Front 15, Congress 5 and others 3 seats.
As a result, Trinamool leaders have repeatedly declared the opposition to be zero in the election campaign, but as a result, the Left Party has snatched 4 seats and the Congress 2 seats. Even non-party candidates got 2 seats. As a result, the Trinamool Municipal Corporation announced to make the opposition zero, but it did not happen.
Before the vote, it was announced from the grassroots that no irregularities will be tolerated in this year’s municipal vote. Not only that, if anyone rigged and terrorized the vote, if there was unrest, the Trinamool would expel them from the party. But in practice, the grassroots have resorted to massive terror to manipulate the electoral process. The party did not expel any of those accused of terrorism.
West Bengal Opposition Leader and BJP MLA Shuvendu Adhikari has demanded cancellation of the municipal polls and fresh polls. He said, there is no minimum democracy in Bengal. A farce is going on in Kolkata in the name of municipal vote. Shuvendu claimed that the vote was only 20 percent. And 80 percent has been stolen. However, the ruling party has denied the allegations.