Siliguri, March 12: The Trinamul Congress today said its candidate Nantu Paul would emerge victorious in the election to the post of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation chairperson tomorrow but also expressed fear that the Congress would seek the support of the Left Front in the voting.
The all-India general secretary of the Trinamul Congress, Mukul Roy, held a meeting with all 15 Trinamul councillors, including minister Gautam Deb, at Malbazar in the Jalpaiguri district this evening.
“We have discussed the state of affairs at the SMC. It has been resolved that all Trinamul councillors will exercise their franchise tomorrow. We are confident that our candidate Nantu Paul will win the polls,” he said after the meeting.
The Congress has fielded Sabita Devi Agarwal in the election that will be held at 1pm tomorrow. The Left had already declared that it would abstain from voting. As the Congress has only 14 councillors and Trinamul 15, it looks like the Trinamul candidate will sail through.
However, Roy said Trinamul was apprehensive that the Congress would approach the Left for its support in the election.
“The Congress has been consistently criticising Trinamul and our councillors, although both the parties formed an alliance to run the civic board. We have learnt that the Left Front will not take part in the poll. However, we are apprehensive that the desperate Congress will try to win the support of some or all Left members. We are keeping a close watch over the state of affairs,” said Roy.
Trinamul insiders said the party councillors would take a decision on their continuation at the SMC based on the result of the chairperson’s election.
“Once the result is out, the Trinamul councillors will again talk to Mukul Roy and minister Gautam Deb and take an appropriate decision. The Congress might also take some step after the result is out,” said a Trinamul source.
The Congress said all its 14 councillors had been given a whip to vote for Sabita Devi Agarwal.
Asked about the chance of Agarwal’s win given that Trinamul had advantage in terms of the tally, Darjeeling district Congress general secretary Jiban Majumdar said: “It is not only about arithmetic but also about some other factors. We are confident of winning the election.”
He said all the Congress councillors and district leaders would hold a meeting in the party’s district office at 11am tomorrow to take “a firm decision” on the alliance with Trinamul. He said the decision would be disclosed after the chairperson election was over.
On Sunday, Darjeeling district Congress president Shankar Malakar had also said the party would soon take a “stern decision” on the alliance.