BJP trounces Trinamool in Nandigram cooperative poll win; Suvendu says ‘just the beginning’

BJP trounces Trinamool in Nandigram cooperative poll win; Suvendu says ‘just the beginning’

On a continuous electoral slide since its defeat in the Assembly polls last year, the BJP has received a shot in the arm by winning a cooperative body election in Nandigram in Purba Medinipur district. Nandigram is the constituency of Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari.

The BJP on Sunday won 11 of the 12 seats of the Bhekutia Samabay Krishi Samity while the Trinamool Congress (TMC) managed to win just one. The ruling party had won big in the cooperative elections in Nandigram last month, sweeping the polls in Hanubhunia, Gholpukur, and Birulia. The BJP failed to win a single seat in all three combined.

The TMC’s victory came in the Nandigram-II block while the BJP’s success has come in Nandigram-I, which is dominated by the Opposition’s party supporters. In the Assembly polls, the BJP had received a lead of over 4,500 votes from the Bhekutia gram panchayat.

The BJP’s run of electoral losses started with the Assembly polls in which it won 77 seats to emerge as the main Opposition party. It failed to win any of the subsequent major elections, losing everything from Assembly by-elections to civic polls.

Although success in one cooperative body from among the 14,000 that exist across the state does not signal anything, the BJP has chosen to look at the positives and see it as a harbinger of better days. “I congratulate all our winning candidates and party workers for this victory. It will boost the morale of the party rank and file in the state. This will ensure our party’s massive success across the state in the days to come. This is just the beginning,” said Adhikari.

In the Assembly elections, Adhikari had narrowly defeated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by 1,956 votes in what was billed as a prestige fight, This victory ensured Adhikari’s position as the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly. Banerjee later last year won a bypoll from Bhabanipur and continued as CM.

The TMC, however, refused to attach much importance to the loss. The party’s state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said, “It must be remembered that the BJP scored a big zero in last month’s cooperative election in the same constituency. The TMC had made a clean sweep. This cannot be seen as a major success for the BJP as it has failed in every major election in the state since the Assembly polls. Having said that, we have sought a report from the district leadership on why our party could not win the election. We are monitoring the situation.”