Siliguri, Nov. 27: Congress leaders in the Siliguri Municipal Corporation have said the party may dissolve the board after the scheduled November 30 board meeting.
Trinamul had hinted that it would move a no-trust motion against the Congress-led board in the first week of December, a scenario some Congress councillors think the party must avoid.
The Congress also sees little hope of support from the Left, which has the maximum number of councillors but has been keeping a distance from the Congress.
“We are not ruling out the probability (of dissolving the board). Certain political and other issues need to be contemplated before we take any decision. Our councillors are united and would follow whatever instructions given to them from the party,” said Shankar Malakar, the Congress district president.
With the victory of Nantu Paul in ward 31 in a bypoll, Trinamul’s tally increased to 15 in the 47-member SMC. Congress has 14 councillors while the Left has 18 councillors.
“We find no point in continuing with the board. Trinamul will not let us work and the Left will not support us. It is thus better to dissolve the board before a no-confidence motion is tabled and passed against us. It would only add to the disgrace of our party and councillors and thus, it is preferable to dissolve the board,” said a Congress councillor.
Congress leaders, who have been giving adequate hints since yesterday that the party will dissolve the board, have also realised that it is not possible for Trinamul to take over and run the board.
“If Trinamul wants to run the board, it should have a clear majority of 24 councillors (half plus one) in the 47-ward SMC. This means, it needs the support of nine councillors from outside. It is quite a tough job for the party to get nine more councillors on board,” said an observer.
“Under such circumstances, the only option left for the state is to depute an administrator as polls are due in another 10 months,” he added.
A senior Congress leader, said: “It is unlikely that the next meeting would be held by the current board in December-end as discussions are on within the party on the proposal of dissolution.”
“On the other hand, north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb has asserted on Monday that they would table a no-confidence against the Congress in the first week of December,” he added.
“Unless there is a sudden development like the Left supporting and saving the board, the November 30 meeting is likely to be the last. Either by dissolution or through a no-confidence motion, the board would cease to exist after two-three weeks,” he added.
There is also speculation that some Congress councillors may vote against the board with Trinamul if the no-trust motion is tabled.
In the Congress, there is a division about dissolving the board. A section of councillors and leaders advocates dissolution, but another group of councillors is not ready to buy the theory.
“Why should we dissolve the board out of apprehension? Trinamul has 15 members at present and still needs one councillor more to table the no-confidence motion,” said a Congress councillor who is not ready to step down.
Gangotri Datta, the mayor, refused comment on the issue.
“I was chosen as the mayoral candidate by my party and assumed office on the basis of instructions from party leaders. I have delivered my duties in the post and am ready to abide by any instruction passed on to me,” she said.