BJP councillors at the Siliguri Municipal Corporation staged a walkout on Friday in protest against the arrest of a party leader.
The walkout happened when a meeting was in progress to discuss the civic body’s budget for the next fiscal.
BJP leader Bikash Sarkar had prevented Trinamul councillor of ward 24 Pratul Chakraborty from entering the latter’s office. Chakraborty had readied the office to carry out his duties as the councillor.
Senior Trinamul leaders, including mayor Gautam Deb, rushed to the spot, along with police, and eventually, Chakraborty, who is also the chairman of the SMC, could enter the office.
The police arrested Bikash on Thursday night.
“They (Trinamul) are not allowing us to speak. As we tried to register our protest against the arrest of one of our leaders, we were stopped. That is why we walked out of the meeting,” said Amit Jain, the leader of the Opposition at the SMC.
Along with two other councillors of the BJP, Manjushree Paul and Vivek Singh, Jain left the meeting.
The BJP leaders, including local MLA Shankar Ghosh and district BJP president Anandamoy Barman, held a demonstration in front of Siliguri police station on Friday to condemn Bikash’s arrest.
“He was arrested on the basis of some false allegations levelled by Trinamul,” Barman alleged.
The police produced Bikash in court and he was granted bail.
Trinamul leaders, while speaking on the issue, said Bikash had heckled Chakraborty, who is one of the senior party leaders in Siliguri.
“It is unfortunate that they (BJP) suddenly became aggressive to prevent him from entering the office and heckled him. The BJP councillors had nothing to discuss on the budget for Siliguri and that is why, we believe, they left the meeting without any provocation,” said Deb, the mayor.