West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict permitting the notification of the results of all uncontested seats in the recently held state Panchayat polls and termed it a ''tight slap'' on the face of the state's opposition parties that had sought re-election.
The Supreme Court on Friday turned down the plea of the Communist Party of India-Marxist and Bharatiya Janata Party for cancellation of elections for over 21,000 uncontested seats in the rural body elections.
The apex Court, however, permitted the aggrieved candidates, who could not file their nomination papers for the seats that went uncontested, to move the election tribunal within 30 days.
"We welcome the verdict. The Supreme Court did not even consider the appeal for holding re-election. It is not just a defeat for them (opposition parties) but is a tight slap on their face," TMC leader and state panchayat minister, Subrata Mukherjee said.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah have criticised the panchayat election results in Bengal many times during the rallies here. After the apex court''s verdict today, they should apologise to the people. They should learn a lesson that moving court by manipulating facts does not yield any results," he said.
The minister said the developmental activities in these areas were not significantly hampered due to the loss of time in forming new panchayat boards.
"I think the development has not been significantly impacted. There has not been any major losses. We were prepared with the infrastructure from our end. Now, the concerned people will go to training from tomorrow. The work on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) will start and Bengal will come out on top in at least seven pilot projects," he added.