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Trinamul takes away Cong 2

- Left & ruling party equalise at 8 in Alipurduar municipality

Dec. 23: Two Congress councillors of Alipurduar municipality joined Trinamul today, equalising with the Left which does not have a majority and would require to prove its strength soon.

“Two Congress councillors of Alipurduar municipality have joined our party today. With this, we now have eight councillors at the civic board, which is equal to the Left Front who are running the board now,” said Mukul Roy, the Trinamul all-India general secretary, today in Siliguri.

The two — Dipak Sarkar and Sanjib Burman — joined the party at Baghajatin Park in the town.

Senior Trinamul leaders, including Roy, gave enough hints that the party would give the Left a tough contest when it would have to prove its strength in the House on completion of six months in April next year.

Alipurduar municipality has 20 seats, of which the Left had won in eight (CPM 4, RSP 3 and CPI 1). The Congress and Trinamul had won six seats each. As none of the parties had absolute majority, the Left, being the party with highest seats, was called to form the civic board.

“They formed the board with eight members and had 12 members in the Opposition. After six months since the date of formation, they will have to prove their majority or else, the board will be dissolved,” said a source.

The state of affairs in Alipurduar is similar to Malbazar, where the Congress has been virtually obliterated by Trinamul.

Of the 15 seats in Malbazar, the Left has seven, the Congress two and Trinamul six.

Trinamul had initiated a no-confidence motion against the Left and the two Congress councillors had supported the motion. It is only a matter of time before the duo join Trinamul.

“If somebody deserts our party, we cannot hold him back. But they will have to face questions from their voters,” Congress leader Biswaranjan Sarkar said.

Anindya Bhowmik, chairman of the Left Front run board of Alipurduar, said they were not worried.

“We are not concerned as our councillors are confident of performing well in these six months, of which four months are still left.”

Roy, when asked about the no-confidence motion that Trinamul intends to bring at Siliguri Municipal Corporation — the party is still one short of the one-third mark of 16 councillors — said: “Whenever we get the required figure, we would not hesitate for a moment to bring a no-confidence against the Congress board at SMC.”

Gautam Deb, the north Bengal development minister, said: “We want to bring the no-confidence motion by December 31 this year and are working on it.”