Monday, 30th October 2017

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Trinamul and BJP claim victory at Bongaon

The BJP claims the support of 11 councillors, while Trinamul has nine

By TT Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 17.07.19, 1:24 AM
  • Updated 17.07.19, 1:24 AM
  • a min read
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Trinamul councillors agitate in Bongaon on Tuesday Picture by Partha Sarathi Nandi

The Trinamul Congress and the BJP claimed the control of Bongaon municipality in North 24-Parganas after a no-trust vote which was marked by a clash with bombs on Tuesday.

Rapid action force personnel were deployed and the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC issued at Bongaon following the clash that was triggered by police’s prevention of two councillors from attending the no-confidence vote.

The 22-member civic body originally had 20 Trinamul councillors, besides one each of the CPM and the Congress. Last month, 14 Trinamul councillors had defected to the BJP, but three of them returned to the ruling party shortly. As of now, the BJP claims the support of 11 councillors, while Trinamul has nine.

When two defectors — Himadri Mondol and Kartik Mondol — arrived to take part in the no-trust vote on Tuesday, police stopped them from entering the municipality office. Earlier in the day, Calcutta High Court had granted them interim anticipatory bail. The duo were apprehending arrest in connection with a complaint lodged against them by Shampa Mohanta, another councillor who had also defected to the BJP before returning to Trinamul.

Mohanta alleged that Kartik and Himadri had abducted her at gunpoint and demanded Rs 20 lakh as ransom. She said they had released her after Rs 8 lakh had been paid.

When the police stopped the two councillors, supporters of the BJP and Trinamul fought a pitched battle with bombs.

In the absence of Kartik and Himadri, the other nine councillors of the BJP did not take part in the no-confidence motion.

While Trinamul has claimed it defeated the motion by a margin of 9-0, the BJP said its councillors had voted in the office of the civic body’s executive officer and wrested the control of the municipality by a margin of 11-0. Executive officer Gouranga Biswas, who was empowered to oversee the voting, declined comments on the results of the no-confidence motion.

“Nobody from the Opposition showed up for the no-trust vote. The board remains ours,” said Trinamul’s civic chairman Shankar Adhya.

The Bengal general secretary of the BJP, Sayantan Basu, said: “Trinamul and police tried to retain power at Bongaon forcefully, undemocratically and unconstitutionally. We will move Calcutta High Court on Wednesday.