Half of rural Bengal has turned its face away from the Marxist regime!

published on May 24, 2008


GP results rub it in


Courtesy: Statesman News Service


http://thestatesman.org/page.news.php?clid=1&theme=&usrsess=1&id=205233






KOLKATA,
May 23: For the first time since the Left Front introduced the
panchayati raj system in the state in 1978, it lost control of nearly
50 per cent of the gram panchayats this time, signifying that nearly
half of rural Bengal has turned its face away from the Marxist-led
regime.

 


A
clear picture emerged today as results of the 3,220 gram panchayats
were declared. The LF won 1,585 GPs while the Opposition dramatically
surged ahead notching up a victory in 1,498 GPs
. The results in 137 GPs
have been either a tie or hung.

 


The
LF had won 2,303 GPs in the 2003 elections routing the Opposition which
managed to bag only 897 GPs, whereas the number of GPs where the
results were a tie or hung was only 20. The LF’s lowest tally of GPs
before was 56 per cent in 1998 and the highest 72 per cent in 1988. Its
share ranged between 56 and 70 per cent during the six consecutive
terms that it held sway over the panchayats. 

 


The
comfort that the CPI-M drew from its victory in 13 of the 17 Zilla
Parishads when the results first started pouring in two days back, was
eroded by serious worries yesterday when the Opposition won 89
panchayat samities against the LF tally of 189, showing that the ruling
combine’s grip on the rural vote bank was loosening.

 


But
today, the illusory success in the ZPs turned into a nightmare with the
GP results making it clear that nearly half the political space in
rural Bengal ~ which has hitherto been the LF’s mainstay ~ has been
captured by the Opposition. The results sent such shock-waves down the
spine of the CPI-M that its state leadership immediately started wooing
the junior partners whom it had treated shabbily and insolently during
the run-up to the poll.

 


State
industries minister Mr Nirupam Sen was summoned to Alimuddin Street in
the afternoon. It was the duo of Mr Sen and the chief minister who were
the chief architects of the skewed industrialisation policy that has
proved the LF’s undoing in the rural poll.

 


The
CPI-M state secretary and LF chairman, Mr Biman Bose, had even taunted
that the junior partners saying that it was misplaced confidence that
was spurring them

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