The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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No-trust edge to Subrata

Calcutta, Sept. 23: The Left Front’s bid to remove mayor Subrata Mukherjee by pushing through a no-confidence motion in the city’s civic body on Wednesday looks set to bomb as the Trinamul leader has the numbers with him.

Observers indicated today that the CPM still lacks the requisite number of councillors to make the motion a success. The topple bid sponsored by the CPM is the Left Front’s first attempt to wrest control of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation since Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government returned to office a year-and-a-half ago.

Another factor that will block the CPM’s plans to remove the mayor is that the vote on the no-confidence motion will not be conducted through secret ballot. Rebel Trinamul Congress councillors will thus be prevented from cross-voting.

The Congress has announced that its councillors will abstain from voting and the BJP, Trinamul’s otherwise aggrieved ally, has decided to back the mayor.

The four Independent councillors in the corporation are with Trinamul and are likely to vote for Mukherjee.

The Opposition CPM and the other Front partners will require support from 19 councillors outside their fold.

Sources in the CPM said the state party leadership and a majority of its members in the Calcutta district committee are not happy over the role played by Nirmal Mukherjee, the Opposition leader in the corporation.

For the past two years, Mukherjee did not initiate any major move against the Trinamul-run civic body, though the Opposition had documents to justify its claims that many councillors and members of the Mayor in Council were involved in financial irregularities, party sources claimed.

“It is not known why our corporation party unit was sitting idle for two years,” said a senior member of the Calcutta district committee.

Former mayor and party MP Prasanta Chatterjee, however, said the recent move to oust Mukherjee was sincere. “But you know well that all the Independents and nine (councillors) from the Congress have already supported Trinamul. The Congress had 15 councillors initially but now they have six as the rest have joined Trinamul,” Chatterjee said.

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