The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Stop-funds plea before polls

Malda, March 9: The CPM-led Opposition in the Malda Zilla Parishad has decided to write to the district administration to ensure that the Congress-Trinamul Congress-BJP-run board does not get funds from the treasury.

This means there will be no development work within the next few months although the panchayat polls is only a few weeks away.

The Opposition had abstained from attending a budget meeting held on March 7 so that the proceedings were stalled. Chairman of the district Left Front and secretary of the CPM district committee Jiban Moitra alleged that the board had been looting funds from the day it was formed after the 2003 panchayat polls.

“Work orders of crores of rupees had been issued to contractors, known to be close to the ruling board members, without floating tenders,” Moitra said. He also alleged that the board had tried to bribe the Opposition members to get the budget passed. Moitra said of the Rs 89-crore budget, Rs 70 crore had been allotted to the PWD and Rs 6 crore to education. “An allocation of over 77 per cent of the budget to the PWD indicates what they had been eyeing,” Moitra said.

The budget allocation has even failed to satisfy some members of the ruling combine. “A district known as educationally backward has been allotted only Rs 6 crore,” a Congress member of the board said.

Sabhadhipati of the zilla parishad and Congress leader Goutam Chakraborty said: “The party that will come to power after the May polls will face the problem. Now that they (Opposition) are sure that they will lose, they are trying to create problems for those who will win the election.”

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