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KMC poll crucial for Trinamool Congress

Sunil K Mukhopadhyay in Kolkata | June 15, 2005 20:33 IST

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation election to be held on June 19 will prove to be a crucial test for the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress as the party has lost ground in successive elections in the past few years, political analysts have said.

Sunday's election also attains importance as it is being held in the run up to the assembly elections, scheduled for early next year.

A good performance in the KMC polls will boost the party activists' morale, the analysts said. Trinamool is the largest party in the 141-member KMC with 57 seats.

Banerjee and most other party leaders have exuded confidence of retaining power in the civic body.

However, the party leadership fears that the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist will not allow a free and fair election.

"The CPI-M has already started disturbing our meetings. If they can do it now, they will do it on the polling day as well," Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy said.

The party has approached the state election commission twice and registered complaints.
Another issue that is worrying the party is desertion by a number of senior leaders, including the city mayor, Subrata Mukherjee.

Mukherjee has launched an independent political platform and joined hands with the Congress under the banner of United Democratic Alliance.

Political analysts said the UDA may to not secure many seats in KMC, but it will damage the prospects of several Trinamool candidates.

Barring 1990, no party has secured a majority on its own in the KMC.

Senior Congress leader and Union Water Resources Minister P R Dasmunshi predicted that a non-Left board would be installed in the corporation after the election hinting at the possibility of UDA joining hands with Mamata Banerjee.

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