Trinamul puts ex-BJP face at helm of Jaigaon Development Authority
A number of Trinamul leaders of Alipurduar district, including a former BJP face and a former MLA of its own party, have been nominated as office-bearers and members of two prominent development bodies of north Bengal.
Ganga Prasad Sharma, a former district president of the BJP who deserted the saffron camp after the Assembly elections this year and joined Trinamul, has been made the new chairman of Jaigaon Development Authority (JDA).
Formed during the Left Front era, the JDA is tasked with infrastructure development in and around Jaigaon, the town in Alipurduar at the India-Bhutan border. Alipurduar is one of those few districts where Trinamul could not win a single Assembly seat at the elections this year despite its historic majority.
Sourav Chakroborty, the immediate past MLA of Alipurduar, will chair the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) headquartered at Siliguri.
“It seems the party leadership wants Chakraborty to play a prominent role, given his contribution in establishing the party’s base in Alipurduar,” said a party leader.
Sharma, on the other hand, seems to have earned the berth of the JDA chairman as Trinamul intends to use him to revive its support base, observers said.
“During his (Sharma’s) tenure as the district president, the BJP managed to bag the Lok Sabha seat and also all the five Assembly seats of the district. His decision to quit the party has caused some damage to the BJP,” an observer said.
Sharma’s selection has also brought cheers among the business fraternity of Jaigaon. A local resident, he is perceived to be aware of the issues that need to be addressed for its development.
“I will soon hold a meeting with different organisations of Jaigaon and prepare a list of infrastructure work required to be done,” said Sharma.
Tribal faces like Birendra Bara and Jai Prakash Toppo have been inducted in the JDA. Mihir Dutta, a former councillor of Alipurduar municipality, is also included.