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Revolt in Trinamul over school chief shunt

Malda, July 20: A section of the Trinamul Congress’s elected representatives in the three-tier panchayat system in Malda district has threatened to quit the party if Swapan Mishra is not reinstated as the chairman of the district primary school council in a week.

Mishra had resigned from the post in June following the state government’s call to the heads of all primary school councils in Bengal to step down. Dilip Debnath, a former CPM worker and an assistant professor of chemistry at Malda College, was made the new chairman of the Malda primary school council on July 16.

Trinamul controls the Englishbazar panchayat samity and seven of 11 gram panchayats in Englishbazar. The party has also two zilla parishad members from Englishbazar.

Tinku Ghosh, the panchayat samity karmadhakshya for land, said he and the others would have no other option than to leave the party. “Of the 32 seats of the Englishbazar panchayat samity, we have 21 members. Seven of the 11 panchayats are with us. We have six zilla parishad members in the district and over 100 gram panchayat members. Some of us sat together on July 17 after Mishra was replaced. We will wait for a week. If our demand is not met, we will leave the party and continue in our posts as Independents,” Ghosh said.

Moazzem Hossain, the district president of the Trinamul, said the decision on the chairpersons of the DPSCs all over the state had been taken by Mamata Banerjee. “Those who love the party, I hope, will not decide to leave. Dilip Debnath is an educationist and has been in charge of the party’s education cell,” Hossain said.

However, Englishbazar MLA and food processing minister, Krishnendu Chowdhury, said there had been widespread dissent in the party in connection with the replacement of the DPSC chairman. “Their stand is justified. Dilip Debnath was a CPM member and many cannot accept that he was chosen as Mishra’s replacement,” he added.