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SMC ire on CPM lips

Siliguri, Nov. 28: CPM leader Asok Bhattacharya today said the CPM would take all possible steps to prevent Trinamul from passing a no-confidence motion against the Congress-run board at the Siliguri Municipal Corporation but party leaders hedged when asked if they would support the Congress.

Trinamul has said that it intends to bring the no-trust motion against the Gangotri Dutta-headed board in the first week of December.

“A minister of Trinamul is openly sponsoring horse-trading to lure representatives of other parties and grab power. Recently, it was done at the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad and now, they are trying the same tactics at the SMC,” former minister and CPM leader Bhattacharya said today.

“When the party (Trinamul) has 15 councillors and needs one more to secure one-third majority, how can a minister openly say they would table a no-confidence motion and ‘manage to secure the necessary figure’? We are apprehensive of more horse-trading,” he said.

Recently, all three Congress members at the Mahakuma Parishad joined Trinamul along with one of the four CPM members.

“Let us make it very clear that the CPM and the Left Front would stop Trinamul, at all costs, from tabling and passing the no-confidence motion in an unethical manner,” Bhattacharya said.

“If the no-confidence motion is tabled, we would plan our moves,” he said.

A party insider said if the Congress dissolved the board before the motion was brought, “we would continue to sit in the Opposition till the next civic polls”.

Political observers said it was unlikely that the Left would form the board. “They are desperate to keep Trinamul away and prevent the departure of even one councillor. The Congress is confused over the consequences of leaving the board as four-five councillors are inclined towards Trinamul,” said and observer.

“For the Left, it is better to have an administrator at the SMC if it cannot form the board. There would be two benefits for the CPM in that case. Trinamul can be kept out and the Left can say the parties (Trinamul and the Congress) could not run the board for the full term.”

Jiban Majumdar, general secretary of the Darjeeling district Congress, said: “To save our board, we would not seek support from any party. If such a situation arises, it would be upon each councillor to decide and vote. The 14 councillors of our party are united,”

Krishna Paul, secretary general of Darjeeling district Trinamul, said: “The CPM leaders have reconfirmed our allegation that they have a tacit understanding with the Congress. We will place the motion in due time.”

CPM leaders dodged questions on whether they would support the Congress in retaining the board by saying they will “plan the move later”.