Protests set to hit Siliguri

The Trinamul Congress has lined up month-long agitation programmes after Diwali against the alleged failure of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation in ensuring civic facilities and amenities for people.

By Our Correspondent in Siliguri
  • Published 18.10.17
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Siliguri: The Trinamul Congress has lined up month-long agitation programmes after Diwali against the alleged failure of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation in ensuring civic facilities and amenities for people.

To counter Trinamul's agitation, the mayor, Asok Bhattacharya, said the CPM would organise protests from November 1 against the Mamata Banerjee government's "refusal" to allot funds to the SMC.

On Sunday evening, Darjeeling district Trinamul leaders, including state tourism minister Gautam Deb, held a meeting at Kanchenjungha Stadium in Siliguri, where it was decided that the party would renew its movement against the SMC.

Trinamul insiders said from October 28, party supporters from different wards of the SMC would hold sit-in demonstrations in front of the civic office on a regular basis.

"Our supporters and people from one ward or the other will walk up to the SMC office. They will demonstrate against the board which has failed to provide basic civic services to the residents," said Ranjan Sarkar, a Trinamul councillor and the leader of the opposition at the SMC.

Trinamul will also organise street corner meetings, rallies and demonstrations in all 47 wards demanding the mayor's resignation.

"We will tell people how the current board has failed to carry out its responsibility," said Sarkar.

About a month after those agitation programmes, Trinamul will organise a public meeting here and release a "charge-sheet" against the civic board.

"We will highlight the failure and corruption of the present board in the charge sheet. There are anomalies in the functioning of most of the departments at the civic body and discrimination in allotment of funds for wards represented by councillors of other parties," said a senior Trinamul councillor.

The programme, he said, would be finalised at a meeting of the state core committee of Trinamul in Calcutta on October 25.

With the announcement of Trinamul's agitation, the mayor said the CPM would not sit idle. #"We will launch protests and rallies from November 1 against the state government's bias against the SMC in releasing funds. The SMC is entitled to funds from the state like any civic body. The halt in the allotment of funds is affecting Siliguri's development. People must know the truth," said Bhattacharya.

He also said the CPM would launch a sit-in demonstration in front of the state municipal affairs department in Calcutta if funds were not released immediately.