Siliguri, Aug. 28: North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb today said the state government would be forced to take “stern steps” if the Congress councillors didn’t attend the monthly board meeting of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation on August 31.
The 14 Congress councillors, including mayor Gangotri Datta and members-mayor-in-council, have been boycotting the monthly meetings since April ostensible to protest the convening of the sessions by chairman Nantu Paul who had resigned from the party and joined Trinamul.
“Although the SMC board is run by the Congress, the mayor, the MMICs and other councillors of the party have been abstaining from the monthly board sessions since April. As the meetings weren’t held, decisions on matters pertaining to civic services couldn’t be taken. We want to make it very clear that the government would no longer sit idle and watch the pathetic performance of the board. If the Congress does not attend the board meeting scheduled for August 31, stern steps will be taken,” the minister told journalists here.
Although the minister didn’t elaborate on the “stern steps”, sources in the Trinamul Congress said the government might dissolve the board and appoint an administrator. Once the administrator is appointed, elections will have to be held to the SMC in six months. The term of the current board ends on October 4, 2014.
The minister also said polls could be held to the SMC anytime after March. “According to rules, polls can be held within six months of the expiry of a board’s term. As the SMC board is not run properly, we are mulling over that option also,” said Deb.