TMC rebuffs BJP on uncontested wins of panchayat seats in Tripura

19 Sep 2018

In a tit-for-tat attack, the Trinamool Congress on Tuesday questioned the BJP for winning 96 per cent of seats uncontested in the by-elections to three-tier panchayat polls in Tripura. The Mamata Banerjee-led party's attack comes after the saffron party had mocked the TMC for winning over 30 per cent of local bodies seats unchallenged in West Bengal recently.  The ruling BJP has won around 96 per cent of the over 3,000 seats in gram panchayats, panchayat samitis and zilla parishads without contest in the by-elections of three-tier panchayat polls in Tripura scheduled to be held on September 30. "Why is the BJP silent about its victory? When we had won seats uncontested they had moved court accusing us of unleashing violence, but now they too have won seats uncontested. What would they say now?" asked state minister and senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim.
TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said :"Those who live in glass house should not throw stones at others. If TMC wins uncontested then it is due to violence but if BJP wins then it is a victory of democracy. The BJP and opposition parties should stop offering with such childish logic." Reacting to TMC's allegations, the BJP said not a single incident of violence was reported during the panchayat polls in Tripura. "The TMC should not mix both the elections. Unlike panchayat elections in West Bengal, you cannot show a single incident of violence in the rural polls in Tripura," BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha told PTI. BJP Tripura spokesman Mrinal Kanti Deb told PTI that their candidates won uncontested due to "spontaneous" support of the people and that it has no comparison with the scenario in West Bengal where the poll was allegedly rigged. Elections were held in phases for 48,650 posts in gram panchayats, 825 posts in zilla parishads and 9,217 posts in panchayat samitis in West Bengal. The ruling TMC won about 34 per cent seats uncontested in May. The BJP and CPM had moved court demanding cancellation of elections at uncontested seats. The Supreme Court in August turned down the pleas. It, however, took note of allegations and said the aggrieved candidate may file election petitions to challenge panchayat polls in courts concerned. The CPM, which is the opposition party in Tripura and West Bengal, said TMC and BJP are different sides of the same coin and it is expected that they will follow the same kind of strategy when fighting elections.