Siliguri, Oct. 10: The Congress and the Trinamul Congress have filed nominations for the post of the chairperson of Siliguri Municipal Corporation, elections for which will be held on October 21.
Since the Left Front announced today that it would abstain from the voting and both the Congress and Trinamul have equal number of councillors, there is every possibility of a tie in the poll. In that case, the chairperson will be chosen through lottery.
The post fell vacant following the resignation of Nantu Paul on September 4 and deputy mayor Sabita Devi Agarwal has been acting as the chairperson since then. Today was the last date of filing nominations.
Ruma Nath, the councillor of ward 6, is the Congress candidate for the chairperson’s post and she filed the papers today. Arindam Mitra had submitted nominations on behalf of Trinamul yesterday.
“Nath is the member mayor-in-council for education and cultural affairs. We are confident of her win and once she is elected, I will take over her department. We have appealed to all councillors to support Nath,” Congress mayor Gangotri Datta said today.
The Congress and Trinamul have 14 councillors each at the SMC, while the Opposition Left has 17 members.
Darjeeling district Left Front convenor and former minister Asok Bhattacharya said the Opposition would boycott the voting on October 21. “We are not going to contest the election. Our councillors will also abstain from voting. They (Congress and Trinamul) had jointly formed the board and now they should settle the issues (between them). We will continue to remain in the opposition,” he said.