Trinamool Congress strengthened its stranglehold on in the city, winning 134 of the 144 seats in the Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections with a 72% vote share that reflected the afterglow of its assembly poll landslide eight months ago.
In a first, KMC will now have 68 women councillors, 64 of them from Trinamool. This works out to 47% of the seats in the House. Kolkata’s next mayor will be decided at a councillors’ meeting on Thursday, Mamata Banerjee said after trends confirmed that Trinamool was on its way to the best showing by any party in a KMC poll in recent memory.
“Kolkata is our pride. Kolkata will lead the nation to glory. We will serve with more humility. The elections were like a festival. This is a win for democracy. This is a people’s victory. This mandate will allow us to continue working for people and to work harder,” the CM said before leaving for Guwahati to offer prayers at the Kamakhya temple.
“BJP bho-katta (the BJP has been decimated) by the people, CPM no-patta (the CPM has not been acknowledged), and the Congress is sandwiched between the BJP and the CPM,” she said.
The results had an element of inevitability and predictability, with Trinamool building on its organisation and taking advantage of opposition parties’ listlessness since its spectacular showing in the assembly polls last May. A much less predictable outcome was the sharp dip in BJP’s share of votes since then, which allowed the Left Front to displace it from the position of Kolkata’s party number two in terms of vote share.
The Left won 11% votes, marginally up from its share of 10.4% in May, to get two seats. BJP, which fancied its chances of winning Nabanna till the assembly poll results were announced on May 2, saw its Kolkata vote share dip from a May high of 20% to a December low of 9%. BJP will now have three representatives in the new KMC. Congress won 4.4% of the vote share, which translated into two seats.
A comparative analysis of the May and December vote share of Trinamool, BJP and the Left makes one thing clear: the votes gained by the saffron party in May, said to have gone to it from the LF kitty, now seem to have made their way to Trinamool. The Left Front and Congress finished second in 65 and 16 of KMC’s 144 wards, respectively, with BJP being the runner-up in 48 seats. BJP candidates lost their deposit in 116 wards.
The results mean that all 16 KMC boroughs will now Trinamool chairpersons. Independents won three seats but, by the end of Tuesday, all of them had expressed their desire to join Trinamool.