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Asok Bhattacharya defeated TMC in Siliguri

Asok Bhattacharya after winning in siliguri
The Siliguri Model worked in north Bengal's main town and in Malda but in other districts, it failed.
Asok Bhattacharya, the architect of the model, said he would wait for the CPM state secretariat meeting to pinpoint the reasons for the drubbing the alliance between the Congress and the Left Front had received in the Assembly polls.
Trinamul secured absolute majority in the Assembly polls, dealing a blow to the Siliguri Model, which was conceived to stop Mamata Banerjee on her tracks.

Asok Bhattacharya and Sankar Malakar, the two key persons who had devised the strategy, were elected to the Assembly from Siliguri and Matigara-Naxalbari seats, respectively.
While Asok defeated footballer Bhaichung Bhutia of Trinamul by 14,072 votes, Malakar trounced Amar Sinha of the same party by 18,627 votes.
"The strategy has once again worked in Siliguri and in other seats in Darjeeling district. But we have to admit that it has failed to deliver in most parts of the state," Bhattacharya said this afternoon, after coming out of Siliguri College where votes were being counted. "I hope the new state government will give due importance to the opposition and extend all cooperation to us."
The strategy has worked in Malda and Darjeeling districts where the Left and the Congress could stop Trinamul from securing a single seat. In Malda, two state ministers were among the Trinamul candidates defeated in the polls.
After supporting the Congress in the mayoral elections in 2009, Bhattacharya had tasted success in the polls to the Siliguri Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Mahakuma parishad last year.
Asked to elaborate on the reasons for the alliance's failure, Bhattacharya said: "I cannot comment on the issue right now. The CPM state secretariat is meeting in Calcutta on Monday. I will attend the meeting where the matter will definitely be discussed in detail. As of now, all that we can say is that we will sit in opposition and work in a constructive manner."
As the mayor of Siliguri, he has time and again complained about alleged non-co-operation from the state government in running the SMC. He used to allege that the state government was holding the funds due to the SMC.
He iterated his plea for co-operation from the new state government.
"I hope the state government will extend its co-operation to the civic body here and the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad," Bhattacharya said.
Like the SMC, the SMP is also run by the Left.
Left leaders in Siliguri said on condition of anonymity that one of the major reasons for the failure of the alliance was that a section of Congress supporters did not vote for Left candidates.
"It has worked in an excellent manner in Darjeeling and Malda districts and also in North and South Dinajpurs to some extent. But in other districts of north Bengal and most parts of the state, the Congress leaders seem to have failed to drive home the point that their supporters should vote for the Left candidates," a Left leader said.
Sankar Malakar, the Congress candidate of Matigara-Naxalbari, said the alliance would continue in the coming days.
"It is true that the alliance did not work across the state but it has yielded results in Siliguri again. We will continue the alliance and work together with the Left while sitting in the opposition in the Assembly," Malakar said.
Trinamul leaders of Darjeeling district said they would review the reason for their consecutive losses in Siliguri.
Bhaichung, who was also present at the counting centre and left early, said: "I accept people's verdict. I will discuss the results with my party colleagues here to identify the reasons for my loss."
Ranjan Sarkar, the Darjeeling district president of Trinamul, said: "An array of development works was carried out across Siliguri and its surrounding areas in the past five years. Even then, we failed in the seat. It seems we could not reach out to the people to highlight the development and so, faced back-to-back defeats in the SMC and SMP polls and now in three Assembly constituencies (Siliguri, Matigara-Naxalbari and Phansidewa). We will surely review it."(TT)

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