Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) seems to have made inroads into the civic bodies in the hills of West Bengal, winning the civic body poll in Mirik. It won in Domkal, Raiganj and Pujali as well, while BJP ally GJM won Kurseong, Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
Polls were conducted for seven civic bodies of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong, Mirik, Domkal, Pujali, and Raiganj.
As reported by ANI, TMC workers were jubilant as they won the civic body polls in Mirik, winning 18 of 21 wards in the Domkal Municipality under Murshidabad district. The Congress won 1 and the CPI(M) won 2, but all the three joined TMC later.
West Bengal civic polls: TMC won 18/21 wards in Domkal Municipality under Murshidabad district. INC won 1, CPI(M) 2; all 3 joined TMC later pic.twitter.com/ksa4P2Zvi0— ANI (@ANI_news) May 17, 2017
TMC workers celebrate after winning Mirik municipal election. TMC won 6 out of 9 wards, GJM won 3. pic.twitter.com/Mim52TU6tl— ANI (@ANI_news) May 17, 2017
The TMC also won in Raiganj, while GJM won majority of wards in Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong:
West Bengal civic polls: Raijang TMC-24, BJP-1, INC+CPI(M)-2; Darjeerling GJM- 31, TMC-1; Kerseong GJM-17, TMC-3; Kalimpong GJM-18, TMC-2— ANI (@ANI_news) May 17, 2017
TMC won in Pujali as well. The Times of India reported that TMC won 12 out of the 16 wards with BJP winning only 2 wards.
As pointed out by The Indian Express, the Mirik victory is significant for TMC, as the party has never won there.
The results, the party says, will help them serve people better in the norther region of the state.
Speaking to News18, leader Gautam Deb said, "We are happy that for the first time, people in the hills have voted for a party from the plains. This shows that people in the hills now understand that they were cheated by the GJM."
He also said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the only option for Bengal for development.
Mirik was is a new sub-division of the Darjeeling district, and was earlier a block in the district.
TMC observer for Darjeeling credited the win in Mirik to Banerjee. He told The Times of India, "Mamata Banerjee visited the hills several times and has been able to understand the needs of the people and was able to convince them about their rights. Mirik has opened the doors of development in the hills and we will take it forward to other places from here and are sure to fare even better in the hills in the coming years."
Mamata Banerjee reacted to the victory, saying:
Congratulations to Ma Mati Manush for again & again putting their trust in us. We are honored, privileged & humbled #VerdictOfBengal 1/4— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 17, 2017
Congratulations to my brothers/sisters in hill areas of Darjeeling Kurseong Kalimpong Mirik for participating in the democratic process 2/4— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 17, 2017
Special thanks to Mirik for reposing faith in us. We will work sincerely for you.After so many decades we begin a new era in the hills 3/4— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 17, 2017
The hills are smiling #VerdictOfBengal 4/4— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 17, 2017
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