Raiganj, Sept. 11: The Left Front today took control of the North Dinajpur zilla parishad after a draw of lots by a 10-year-old boy following a tie in the voting for the post of sabhadhipati.
Ladli Chowdhury, 47, of the CPM was chosen the new sabhadhipati of the rural body. She is a teacher in a Sishu Shiksha Kendra at Sujali in Islampur.
The Congress had fielded Talat Anjum for the post and Trinamul supported him.
Additional district magistrate, Tushar Kanti Biswas, was the presiding officer for the election and after both the aspirants got 13 votes each, a draw of lots was conducted.
Biswas made Raju Singh, 10, the son of an employee of the zilla parishad office, choose a chit.
Raju picked up a chit with Ladli’s name after choosing three blank chits before that.
After the result was announced, the Congress and Trinamul members walked out alleging foul play.
Yesterday, the district Congress leadership had denied the news of a tie-up with Trinamul and said that the role of the party’s elected members, who had announced the alliance, was under the scanner.
The leader of the Congress in the zilla parishad, Purnendu Dey, and Gautam Pal, Trinamul Youth Congress district president, today held a joint press conference alleging Biswas had acted in a biased manner. “We had jointly contested the post of sabhadhipati and there was a lottery. We suspect the presiding officer acted in a biased manner and the name of our candidate was not written on any of the chits. That is why we walked out,” Dey said.
Biswas denied the allegations. “All the procedures were followed while conducting the whole process and there is no question of any foul play.”
After the Congress and Trinamul members walked out, Prasanta Debsingh, of the RSP, was elected uncontested as the saha-sabhadhipati.
“The Congress and Trinamul tried to forge an unholy nexus. But their luck ran out. This is Left Front’s victory. We are indebted to Raju Singh. His mother is on the casual staff of the zilla parishad. We will assist him with his education for the next five years while we are in the zilla parishad,” said Subir Biswas, CPM district secretariat member.
Raiganj Congress MP Deepa Das Munshi, today said: “Our party’s guideline was clear that we would not have any alliance with Trinamul. I had made that clear to all. The name of the our nominee for the post of sabhadhipati was proposed today. I have heard that Trinamul members supported him. We didn’t seek their support. If our members entered into a deal with Trinamul, they did a wrong thing. The party will probe into the role of our members and take steps.”