In a jolt to the Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Front in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress defeated its candidates in trouble-torn Nandigram [Images] in the three-tier panchayat elections.
The front also faced rout in three zilla parishad seats in Singur to Trinamool Congress candidates.
The polls are seen as a litmus test for the Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee government's farmland acquisition policy for industries.
The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress wrested control of zilla parishad in East Midnapur, where Nandigram is located. It won 32 of the 53 seats, results of which were declared so far.
It is the first time that Trinamool Congress gained control over a zilla parishad, the main decision-making body in the district. In the last poll in 2003, the Trinamool had two seats in the zilla parishad.
Never before has industry been a major plank in the panchayat polls, particular in Nandigram and Singur.
The Left Front was, however, was maintaining a lead in other districts and having a neck-and-neck contest in zilla parishad seats in Congress strongholds of Murshidabad and Malda.
Polls were held to the three-tier panchayat system in three phases on May 11,14 and 18.
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