Siliguri, Oct. 25: The Trinamul Congress in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation is mulling the appointment of an administrator as it does not want to be part of a supposedly unpopular civic board headed by the Congress but also does not want elections immediately, according to party sources.
North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb, who is Trinamul’s main leader in Siliguri, is in Calcutta to speak to chief minister Mamata Banerjee and municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim. The Congress-Trinamul rift in the SMC is expected to feature in his discussions.
According to the West Bengal municipal corporation act, the municipal affairs department can dissolve a board if it thinks the board has failed in its duties. An administrator, then appointed, can run the civic body for six months maximum.
Trinamul sources said party was weighing that option now.
“If our councillors walk out, the board will become a minority and will be dissolved, unless the Left extends its support. Then, elections will be held for the remaining period of its tenure that is till September 2014. If the state government declares the board incompetent through a notification, an administrator can be appointed for six months, after which elections can be held. As panchayat polls are likely to be held in March next year, we want to appoint an administrator and hold the civic elections then,” said a source.
Minister Deb said mayor Gangotri Dutta should quit as she had failed to provide basic services to the people of Siliguri.
“Our councillors have made it very clear that we have no intention to share the responsibility of the board any more. We did not pull out of the board as we did not want the residents to suffer during the festivities. Now that the Pujas are over, we will definitely look into the issue and consult the state leaders. Our councillors are ready to walk out of the board at any time,” Deb said.
Englishbazar MLA and municipality chairman Krishnendu Choudhury announced his resignation from the Congress on Thursday and said he would join Trinamul along with his supporters on October 30.
Choudhury said he was leaving the Congress as the Khan Choudhury family was treating him and other leaders like slaves and he felt only Trinamul would usher in development in the Malda district. The MLA claimed that all nine other Congress councillors in Englishbazar would also join Trinamul and he would continue to be the chairman of the civic body.