Leaders of Darjeeling district CPM, including veteran party leader Asok Bhattacharya, hit the streets in Siliguri on Saturday to launch a mass signature campaign against the alleged non-performance of the Trinamul-run board of Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC).
Bhattacharya, along with party workers, visited a number of houses in Subhashpally, the locality in ward 20 of the city where he stays, and collected signatures from people.
“Before last year’s civic elections, Trinamul had made a host of promises. A year has passed and none of these promises have been met. Even the basic civic services are in shambles and people are bearing the brunt of erratic water supply and severe traffic snarls. Those running the present board only make tall talks,” said Bhattacharya, formerly Siliguri mayor.
Left leaders said they would visit households across the civic area to collect signatures from residents in support of their claim that the civic board has failed to deliver.
“In March, we will submit one lakh signatures appended with a memorandum to the mayor. We want to prove that people are not satisfied with the board’s performance and that the mayor should take steps to redress principal problems like drinking water and traffic congestion in the city,” said a CPM leader.
This move by the Left comes a few days before the Trinamul board completes its first year in the SMC.
“On February 22, the board will complete its first year. The CPM’s drive makes it evident it wants to put pressure on Trinamul,” said an observer.
Mayor Gautam Deb, when told about the CPM’s drive, said the Left was in power in the state for 34 years and ran the SMC for a long time too.
“In 2022, we could secure the (Siliguri) civic body for the first time. People have summarily rejected them (the Left) because of their non-performance. Now they are desperate to stay afloat in politics and thus making such moves,” Deb said.