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Pot nominates kettle, both nurse black eye

- CPM panchayat samiti chief suggests Trinamul leader’s name for school committee

Midnapore, Feb. 3: A CPM panchayat samiti chief has nominated a Trinamul block president as her nominee in a school managing committee, a move that in times of bitter political acrimony has embarrassed both parties in West Midnapore.

CPM and Trinamul leaders and ranks are not sure if the decision was taken “out of courtesy” or if there was an “understanding at the local level”.

Apart from six elected representatives among guardians, the managing committee of Arjuni High School in Debra has as members the headmaster, three nominated teachers, one nominee each from among the non-teaching staff and the panchayat samiti and one representative from the office of the district inspector of schools.

The election of the guardian representatives was held on December 23 and Trinamul-backed candidates won all six seats.

In the first week of January, the sabhapati of the CPM-run Debra panchayat samiti, Bandana Mondal, proposed the name of Debra block Trinamul president Ratan Dey as her nominee to the school managing committee.

Even though the name was sent to headmaster Amalendu Dey in writing, no one knew about it. On January 22, a local Trinamul leader got to know about the move from panchayat samiti sources and spoke to the headmaster.

“The headmaster told me that Ratan Dey’s name had been proposed as the panchayat samiti sabhapati’s nominee,” the Trinamul leader said.

Bandana Mondal said her decision was “apolitical”.

“It was an apolitical decision. He (Ratan Dey) was the secretary of the outgoing managing committee and has vast experience in running a school. I don’t think I have done anything wrong,” Bandana Mondal said.

CPM workers alleged the election of the guardians’ representatives was rigged under the leadership of Ratan Dey.

Ashok Dey Mondal, a CPM worker in the locality, said he failed to understand why the sabhapati nominated a Trinamul worker when Left activists were being “regularly assaulted” by members of the ruling party.

“Trinamul activists have been rigging each and every school managing committee election. Such an irresponsible act by the CPM panchayat leader at this juncture would have an adverse impact on our workers in the run-up to the panchayat elections,” Ashok Dey Mondal said.

A local Trinamul leader hinted at a nexus between Bandana Mondal and Ratan Dey.

“Ratan Dey is the secretary of the existing managing committee. He could not contest the election this year as a guardian as his son has passed out of the school. So he got himself nominated by the CPM panchayat sabhapati. This also proves that a section in Trinamul is maintaining relations with the CPM. This is embarrassing for us,” the leader said.

Ratan Dey denied there was any “understanding” with the CPM. “I am a resident of the area. Besides, I am the sitting secretary of the managing committee and am aware of the needs of the school,” he said.

Asked how the CPM sabhapati could nominate a Trinamul block president to the post, CPM district secretariat member Subhas Dey said: “We are examining under what circumstances Bandana Mondal took such a decision.”

District Trinamul president Dinen Roy said: “We are investigating the matter. If it is found that a Trinamul functionary is maintaining relations with the CPM, we will take action against him.”