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TMC to conduct survey to assess support base ahead of municipal polls


Kolkata, Oct 14: The Trinamool Congress leadership has decided to conduct a survey to assess its support base and penetration of the BJP in 107 municipalities of the state and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) that will go to polls in 2020.

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The elections to civic bodies are being tipped as "mini assembly elections" ahead of the crucial 2021 assembly poll in West Bengal. Speaking to PTI on condition of anonymity, TMC sources said that the survey would be conducted by the party with the active help of poll strategist Prashant Kishor and his I-PAC team.

Following the TMC's dismal performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the party had appointed the I-PAC to shore up its popularity in the state ahead of the 2021 assembly election.

"The survey would look into various aspects, including our support base among people, local issues, image of the councillors, grievances of the locals and penetration of the BJP in those areas. If everything goes well, the survey is likely to start from November and by February 2020, we will have the report," a senior TMC leader said.

Based on the report, the strategy and selection of candidates would be conducted for the municipal polls, the leader said. The Trinamool Congress leadership has called a meeting of ward, block and district committees' presidents on Tuesday.

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, along with senior party functionaries and Prashant Kishor, will attend the meeting to prepare a draft strategy for the municipal polls.

According to party sources, the results of the 107 municipal polls and the KMC, covering nearly 60 per cent of the state, will act as an indicator of a possible outcome of the 2021 assembly poll. The municipal polls has acquired more importance due to the BJP making deep inroads in the state and emerging as the main challenger to the ruling TMC by pushing Congress and Left Front to distant third and fourth position respectively.

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The BJP in 2019 Parliamentary election bagged 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, just four less than the ruling TMC. The TMC's tally has come down from 34 in 2014 to 22 seats in this election.

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