Trinamool Congress lost in all the nine assembly segments of the state’s newest district ~ Burdwan West ~ in the Lok Sabha polls, a fact that will be a matter of grave concern for the TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee a year before the Asansol Municipal Corporation elections.
After the defeat in the Asansol Lok Sabha seat in 2014, the TMC government deferred the Asansol Municipal Corporation polls for a year, reconstructed and merged it with Jamuria, Raniganj and Kulti municipalities and after huge allegations of large-scale rigging, managed to retain the board without practically any Opposition.
And to make matters further worse, the TMC won all the 43 seats of Durgapur Municipal Corporation amid massive allegations of largescale rigging. Though in 2016 assembly polls, TMC managed to win five of the seven assembly seats in Asansol Lok Sabha, it lost both the two Durgapur seats.
Babul Supriyo of BJP obtained leads of 20,314 in Asansol North, 53,820 in Asansol South, 6,021 in Pandaveswar, 18,052 in Jamuria, 31,710 in Raniganj, 17,875 in Baraboni and 49,351 in Kulti. Surendar Singh Ahluwalia of BJP also got leads in Durgapur East (26,591 votes) and Durgapur West (49,428 votes).
“It’s a complete rejection of TMC from the people of the largest industrial belt of the state, Asansol-Durgapur. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said that PM Modi will get a big rasagulla from the state and she will not meet an expiry Prime Minister. But the fact is that BJP has crossed 300 seats in the Lok Sabha and TMC has just been reduced to 22 in the state. She should immediately resign and seek a fresh mandate from the people,” said former Hirapur MLA and veteran TMC leader, Professor Suhrid Basumallick, after the defeat of Moon Moon Sen in Asansol.
He further claimed that the words used by CM against PM Modi has been distasteful and cultured people of Bengal disliked her comments.
Sports, youth affairs and PWD minister Aroop Biswas was the party observer in Burdwan West district. But senior heavyweight leaders like Moloy Ghatak, Tapas Banerjee were sidelined during the campaign period and instead Asansol Municipal Corporation mayor Jitendra Tewari hogged the entire limelight mainly for wrong reasons. Mr Jitendra Tewari has already offered to resign from his post taking the moral responsibility.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, it was the same Jitendra Tewari who had created a lot of controversy which ultimately helped Babul Supriyo to gain people’s sympathy.
In the 2019 polls, Tewari proved to be a burden for the ruling party. If the TMC supremo does not re-organise her party leadership in Burdwan West district, the party will further suffer in 2021, party sources admit.
The change in the life style of ordinary TMC councillors over the past eight years in Asansol and Durgapur has raised the eyebrows of common people in their respective localities. People are not at all happy with the functioning of the Asansol and Durgapur Municipal Corporation.