As expected, the ruling Trinamool Congress scripted a thumping victory in all the three tiers of the panchayat system in West Bengal which went to the polls on July 8.
BJP finished a distant second in all the three tiers -- zilla parishad, panchayat samiti and gram panchayat. However, what will worry the saffron camp is the massive decline in its vote share as compared to the 2021 Assembly elections. From 38 per cent in 2021, BJP's vote share dropped to 22 per cent this time.
On the other hand, despite being in the third position in terms of number of seats, the silver lining for the Congress, Left Front and All India Secular Front (AISF) combine is the significant improvement in vote share as compared to the 2021 Assembly polls. The vote share of the trio has more than doubled this time, from 10 per cent in 2021 to 21 per cent now.
Trinamool has wrested majority in all the 22 zilla parishads, the highest tier in the panchayat system, winning as many as 760 seats, followed by the BJP at 29, Congress at 11, while Left Front and others bagged two seats each.
In the panchayat samitis, the second tier, Trinamool has maintained its supremacy by winning as many as 7,166 seats, followed by BJP at 1,007, Congress at 277, Left Front at 175 and others, which include AISF and Independents, at 151.
In the lowest tier of gram panchayats, Trinamool has bagged 42,622 seats, followed by BJP at 9,777, Left Front at 2,988, Congress at 2,576 and others at 2,579. There had been a tie in as many as 350 seats, where the toss of coin would decide the winner at a later stage.
Trinamool has credited the victory to the mass development works carried out at the grassroots level in rural Bengal as well as the effect of the two-month long mass outreach programme undertaken by the party's national General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee before the rural polls.
However, the opposition parties are claiming that the results do not reflect the true sentiment of the people amid the massive violence which claimed 44 lives since the polling date was announced on June 8.
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