Seven defectors make it to TMC list for Siliguri civic polls
The Trinamul Congress has fielded the highest number of defectors for the upcoming Siliguri Municipal Corporation elections in a clear indication that the party has looked into the candidates’ winning probability before finalising the names.
Trinamul fielded seven defectors — five from the Left and one each from the BJP and Congress. The BJP gave tickets to only three defectors, while none made it to the lists of the Left Front and the Congress.
The defectors who have got the tickets are mostly those who have proved their mandate in previous civic elections.
For example, Rambhajan Mahato is a former Left Front deputy mayor and the remaining four defectors from the Left, Kamal Agarwal, Tapas Chatterjee, Pritikana Biswas and Parimal Mitra, too, had been councillors in the past. The same holds true with regard to former Congress and BJP leaders, Pintu Ghosh and Khusboo Mittal, who made it to the Trinamul candidate list.
“The move suggests the Trinamul leadership is leaving no stone unturned to win the ensuing civic polls here. This was perhaps one of the major reasons for granting tickets based on an individual’s winning probability rather than other factors like seniority,” an observer said.
Trinamul Darjeeling district committee (plains) president Papiya Ghosh made it clear that the party had not made any promise to the defectors in terms of providing them with tickets for the upcoming elections when they joined the party.
“The decision on tickets was taken at a higher level,” said Ghosh in reply to a 7.
Some Trinamul supporters demonstrated against the nomination of Pratul Chakraborty, who is also the state general secretary, after he was fielded from ward 24.
There was a demonstration in ward 18 against Nikhil Sahani, the present coordinator of Trinamul’s district committee, as a former Trinamul councillor was denied a ticket. The supporters of Sharmila Das, also a former CPM councillor who had recently switched to Trinamul, were unhappy as Das was denied the ticket.
The district president of Trinamul said: “I would like to appeal to all our supporters and members to refrain from taking such steps (demonstration against the candidate), which will be ultimately considered as showing disrespect to our state leadership.”
Over a dozen Trinamul Congress leaders and workers, including some former councillors, in West Burdwan’s Asansol and Kulti have threatened to file nominations as independent candidates for the civic elections after they did not make it to the candidates’ list.
The Trinamul block president of Kulti, Biman Acharya, threatened to resign from the post and contest as an Independent.
Former Asansol deputy mayor Tabassum Ara was also denied nomination this time and turned out to be a rebel. “I have held a meeting with my followers and will decide on our next course of action soon,” she said.
In Chandernagore, a group of Trinamul workers in ward 6 agitated in front of the local party office by burning tyres to protest against the dropping of a former councillor. The party has fielded Moumita Banerjee from ward 6, instead of Aparna Gayen.
Congress second list
The Congress on Friday released a list with 17 more candidates for the SMC polls. Shankar Malakar, Congress Darjeeling district president, said the party had decided to release the list of candidates in phases as leaders from the BJP and Trinamul who had been denied tickets were in touch with the Congress.
Bengal BJP released its list of candidates for the Bidhannagar, Asansol and Chandernagore municipal polls on Friday.
(Additional reporting by Abhijeet Chatterjee, Snehamoy Chakraborty and Arkamoy Datta Majumdar)