Suri, Aug. 22: Followers of slain Trinamul leader Ashok Ghosh are set to gain control of the 10 gram panchayats in Birbhum’s Khoirashol block as most leaders belonging to the faction blamed for the murder are absconding, party insiders said today.
The faction that is rival to Ashok Ghosh’s is led by Ashok Mukherjee, the absconding Trinamul block president who has been accused of plotting the August 12 murder.
“Eight of our leaders named in the FIR are absconding fearing arrests and 10 more leaders have fled Khoirashol fearing retaliation by Ghosh’s followers. So, there are few leaders of the group led by Ashok Mukherjee, who himself is absconding,” a district Trinamul leader said.
The leader added: “It appears that our opposite faction is in a better position to decide on the posts of pradhan and deputy pradhan tomorrow when the gram panchayat boards will be set up.”
The ruling party had last week sought more time for the voting to set up the board. The gram panchayat winners belong to both the factions.
Trinamul sources said that before Ghosh was murdered on August 12, a negotiation was being planned by the party’s observer of Khoirashol, Malay Mukherjee, regarding the selection of pradhans, deputy pradhans and other functionaries from both the factions.
“We had discussed with both Ghosh and Mukherjee that each of their factions will take control of five gram panchayats. But after the murder of Ghosh, the negotiation couldn’t be completed. Now Ghosh’s followers are likely to take control of all gram panchayats,” said Mukherjee.
After Ghosh’s murder, his wife Bijaya had lodged an FIR against 12 people, in which all 10 were leaders from Ashok Mukherjee’s faction and two were alleged contract killers. Birbhum police have already arrested four FIR named accused who are now in jail custody.
Party sources said Krishna Bauri, whose name is in the FIR, is the anchal president of Rupuspur gram panchayat and looks after Mukherjee’s faction in the area.
In his absence, the faction of Mukherjee has become weak to bargain for a chair of pradhan or deputy pradhan in that gram panhayat.
Sheikh Sukur is another anchal president from Idilpur village whose absence will also create a similar problem.
“After all, Ashok Mukherjee, the chief of the faction, is absconding to avoid arrest and Ghosh is dead. So, there is no question of negotiation. Now we want the board to be formed by any faction as all have won with party symbols,” said Malay Mukherjee, who is also the district vice-president of Trinamul.
The brother of the slain leader, Dipak Ghosh, said that they would form the boards in all gram panchayats in Khoirashol.
Sources said, the family had yesterday met Trinamul’s all-India president Mukul Roy where there was a discussion regarding the formation of panchayat board was held.
“Our senior state leaders asked us to form board where we are with majority,” Dipak said.