Kolkata, July 30: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hailed the results of the panchayat poll as a "victory of the people and democracy", as her party Trinamool Congress (TMC) swept the elections.
"The results show that it is the victory of the people and democracy. It is also a victory of the 'maa-mati-manush'. People have voted at a difficult time of heat, rains and the ongoing Ramzan. We should respect the verdict and behave in a peaceful manner," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat in Kolkata.
She said that her party had registered an increase in the percentage of votes compared to the percentage of votes it had secured in the last Assembly election.
The CPI(M) has failed to keep its dominance in its strongholds like Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore districts and the Trinamool Congress has performed well there, she pointed out.
The chief minister said that the CPM, BJP and the Congress had formed an unofficial alliance to fight the Trinamool Congress. "We have fought on our own for the first time with the help of the people who are with us."
Banerjee predicted that her party would garner approximately 75 per cent of the votes and that the party would win in 13 districts while the Congress and the CPM would grab one each.
In the two districts of North Dinajpur and Malda, the outcome would be hung where TMC would play the balancing factor, while in Jangalmahal, out of 290 gram panchayats, Trinamool would bag 275, the chief minister predicted.
Banerjee claimed that a few constitutional bodies had acted against the government, but added she had respect for those entities. "Some had also campaigned against the party overseas", she claimed.
The chief minister added that the she would dedicate the victory to the people of rural Bengal formally on August 21, which would be observed as Martyr's Day by the party this year instead of the traditional July 21.