The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The municipal elections in West Bengal have resulted in a clear victory for the Left Front. Out of the 78 municipalities for which results have come, the Left Front has won an absolute majority in 33 and has emerged as the single largest block in six more. It is also expected that the Left Front will be able to form the board in some more municipalities where there is no clear majority for any party or combination. Out of the total number of 1561 wards, the Left Front has won 802 and got 51.4 percent of the votes polled. The CPI(M) alongwith independents supported by it have won in 684 wards. The Left Front is poised to retain the position it got in the previous elections held in 1995 and improve upon it in certain areas. This indicates the firm support that the Left parties command among the working class, urban middle classes and other sections of the people.
The significance of the results of the municipal elections at this juncture is that it has come in the background of a sustained propaganda that the Left Front is losing ground among the people. The Trinamul Congress-BJP combine which was touted to be the strong challenger has come a poor third winning only in eight municipalities. The Congress party, which had won 32 municipalities in 1995 has now been reduced to 13. The combined strength of the anti-Left forces is less than that of the Left Front.
The verdict of the urban electorate is one of continuing support to the Left Front and rejection of the right-wing communal politics represented by the Trinamul Congress-BJP combine.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) congratulates the people of West Bengal and the Left Front for this important success.