Hill civic chief seeks disqualification of 5
Ritesh Portel, the chairman of the Hamro Party-helmed Darjeeling municipality, on Monday sought the disqualification of five councillors — four who had defected from the HP to the Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha (BGPM) and one from the Trinamul Congress.
With six councillors who had won the Darjeeling municipality elections on HP tickets seeking a floor test, the BGPM is claiming majority at the civic body.
The BGPM has managed the signatures of 16 councillors in the letter for a floor test and they include those of two Trinamul councillors. A change of mind by just one councillors could turn the tables at the 31-strong board.
Against this background, Portel’s petition before Dulen Roy, Darjeeling subdivisional officer, assumes much significance.
Shyamlal Pradhan, a lawyer representing Portel, said: “We have sought the disqualification of the councillors on three different grounds.”
The councillors include Dipen Thakuri, Saran Kumar Chhetri, Sitam Lama and Bishnu Malla who had left the HP and joined the BGPM. The ground on which the disqualification is sought against the four is their defection after six months of the formation of the board.
Another petition has also been filed against Thakuri for trying to “stalk” a fellow councillor.
A purported phone recording of Thakuri seeking to “bribe” an HP councillor to join them was recently released by the HP.