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Relook at SMC tie-up: Deb

Gautam Deb in Siliguri on Friday. Picture by Kundan Yolmo

Siliguri, Feb. 15: The Darjeeling Trinamul Congress today said it had become difficult for the party to continue the alliance with the Congress at the Siliguri Municipal Corporation and the future of the tie-up would be decided after a meeting with the state leadership later this month.

Trinamul said the Congress-led SMC board was a failure. The latest trigger for the party to launch an attack at the ally was yesterday’s no-trust motion against SMC chairman Nantu Paul. He was voted out when the Congress backed the motion moved by the Left.

“Considering the present state of affairs at the SMC, it is not possible for Trinamul to continue with the alliance. We plan to take stern steps and are waiting for the approval of the state committee. A delegation of Trinamul leaders from Darjeeling, including all or at least some of the Trinamul councillors, will call on state leaders in Calcutta on February 24 or 25 to discuss the future course of action. We cannot simply let the alliance go on like this, particularly after the Congress joined hands with the CPM in an unabashed manner yesterday,” north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb said.

Deb, who is also the Darjeeling Trinamul district committee president, held a meeting with all councillors of the party at his residence this morning.

“At the meeting, it was also decided that our councillors would sit on Monday and take some important decisions. On that day, we will decide if those holding posts at the SMC should step down or not,” he said.

Trinamul holds the posts of deputy mayor and four MMICs at the civic board.

The minister also said in order to meet the commitments to the people, Trinamul would mobilise various state government departments and bodies like the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority to carry out development work in Siliguri. “The functioning of the mayor is a disappointment and no infrastructure development worth a mention has taken place under the current board.”

Trinamul will hold a public meeting at Baghajatin Park here on March 31 to protest the alleged failure of the SMC board.

“At the meeting, we will clarify before the people that how the civic body has failed to function because of the incompetence of the mayor and the Congress’s lack of interest in the alliance. The state government and its various departments like the North Bengal Development Council have put in their best efforts to take up activities in association with the SMC. Unfortunately, we have failed and we are not going to sit idle,” said Deb.