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TMC opts out of race
- No party wants to be in SMC mayor poll

Siliguri, June 11: The Trinamul has decided not to field a candidate in the election for the Siliguri mayor’s post, party sources have said, raising the prospect of an administrator-led set-up as the Left and the Congress, too, have opted out.

The post of mayor fell vacant after Gangotri Datta’s resignation on May 20.

Election to the mayor’s post was scheduled for June 16.

Trinamul’s Darjeeling district leaders and councillors at the Siliguri Municipal Corporation met here yesterday evening and decided against putting a candidate for the mayor’s post.

“Some councillors wanted the party to contest the mayoral election. They said if an administrator was deputed, they wouldn’t be able to do any work in their respective wards and would ultimately lose contact with voters. However, others said if Trinamul formed the board, the party would have to shoulder the blame for the failure of the Congress and the Left in delivering the civic services. Further, Trinamul has always scoffed at the Congress for running a minority board. We don’t want to be accused of doing the same thing,” said a Trinamul source.

“It was decided that the party would not contest for the mayor’s post,” he added.

Asked for the party’s official version, Krishna Pal, a councillor and Trinamul’s Darjeeling district secretary general, said the decision on the mayoral election would be taken by the state leadership.

“A meeting was held on the SMC issue. We have discussed the matter and taken a decision. Our district president Gautam Deb will convey the decision to the state committee, which in turn will take the final call,” he said.

Elections to the SMC are scheduled for September.

But Trinamul leaders and ministers had said they wanted the SMC polls to be held in November or afterwards along with polls to other municipalities in Bengal.