NATIONAL NEWS

Trinamool looks to sweep Bengal Panchayat polls

Kolkata, May 17: The ruling Trinamool Congress looks set for a resounding victory in rural Bengal after nearly eight hours of counting of votes in the three-tier state Panchayat elections, with control over 80 per cent of the Gram Panchayat seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged a distant second in almost all the districts. According to the latest trend, Trinamool won in 20 out of 825 Zilla Parishad seats and was comfortably leading in another 22, while the opposition parties drew a blank.

The state ruling party also came out victorious in at least 160 out of 6,125 Panchayat Samiti seats and were leading in another 173 constituencies, the latest poll result data released by the State Election Commission (SEC) said. The BJP and the left managed to bag one Panchayat Samiti seats each.

In West Bengal’s Bhangar, which has been on the boil over the construction of a power grid sub-station by the state government over the last one year, the Independent candidates backed by Jomi-Jibika-Bastutantra O Poribesh Rokkha Committee (committee for protecting life, livelihood, ecology and environment) won five out of eight Gram Panchayat seats, wherever voting took place. The Panchayat Samiti was, however, won by ruling party strongman Arabul Islam who was arrested a day before the election for his alleged involvement in the murder of a local youth. (IANS)