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Rivals join hands to oust BJP

Malda, Aug. 26: In a bizarre case of political expediency, the CPM and Trinamul Congress today joined hands to unseat the BJP from a gram panchayat during a no-confidence motion in Habibpur.

Six CPM and a lone Trinamul member voted against the BJP in the 12-member Mangalpura gram panchayat in Habibpur block, pushing it out of power. The BJP, which had its member as the pradhan, had been controlling the panchayat with the help of Trinamul.

Fresh elections for the panchayat will be held next month.

The BJP district leadership reacted sharply. District president Adhir Karmakar said the result revealed a “secret alliance” between the CPM and Trinamul.

“Their leaders had earlier displayed this secret arrangement in the last Assembly elections. This has now been re-established,” the BJP leader said. The BJP would take it up with the Trinamul state leadership, he added.

Both the CPM and Trinamul leadership feigned ignorance of the development. CPM district secretary Jiban Moitra said he had no idea about the no-confidence motion, but promised to look into it. District Trinamul leader Biplab Nayak said he would also find out about the development.

Habibpur block development officer Mrinmoy Biswas said the CPM and Trinamul had passed the no-trust motion on August 6, charging the BJP with corruption. Voting was held today, with all 12 members from the three parties taking part.

“When we counted the vote, we found the BJP was defeated by the CPM and Trinamul,” Biswas said.

The Mangalpura panchayat has been marked by political uncertainties in the past few years. In the last elections, the BJP and Trinamul had formed the board, with both parties splitting the top two posts of pradhan and upapradhan between them.

But within a year, two BJP panchayat members, Marang Kisku and Anil Sarkar, left the party and formed the panchayat committee with the backing of the CPM. As a result, Trinamul member Lili Murmu, who voted today with the CPM, lost her post as upapradhan.

A fight broke out between the BJP and Trinamul when Kisku and Sarkar returned to the BJP last year as pradhan and upapradhan. Ever since, Trinamul had been trying to dislodge the BJP from power.

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