The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM cracks norms whip

Calcutta, July 11: The CPM has expelled 31 members for violating norms regarding formation of gram panchayats in several districts, state party chief Anil Biswas said today.

About a dozen of the expelled members belong to North 24-Parganas, a fact that reflects the rivalry between two warring groups in the district CPM.

Biswas said most of the expelled members had tried to form boards with support from the Trinamul Congress, the BJP or the Congress. “Some of the expelled members had also refused to allow elected members from other Left Front partners to head gram panchayats,” said Biswas.

The CPM state secretariat today approved the names of sabhadhipatis referred to it by district committees. Except Hooghly, all 16 districts had forwarded the names of the zilla parishad chiefs. It is learnt that there are differences among the CPM’s Hooghly secretariat members over the sabhadhipati.

“There are 3,218 gram panchayats and heads of all these units have been elected except in 13 cases, where our functionaries had violated norms laid down by the party. We have sorted out disputes in four cases and the rest will be thrashed out before August 15, the last date for nominating panchayat heads,” said Biswas.

Teacher on top

The parishad in Purulia today bent party “guidelines” to elect a schoolteacher as the sabhadhipati.

Mithu Singh Sardar won 28 of the 33 votes cast by the parishad members and took charge from Swapan Banerjee, who could have continued beyond his 20-year stay had it not been for an Election Commission circular. The poll panel had made the sabhadhipati’s post a woman’s reserve.

Sardar, a teacher at Korondih Primary School, is now on leave. The state CPM leadership had said before the panchayat polls teachers should not contest.

“The party guidelines were meant mainly for the post of panchayat pradhan,” said the new sabhadhipati. “Perhaps an exception was made in my case,” she added.

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