Jhalda civic body: Congress asks Governor to step in

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Accusing the Trinamool Congress government of conspiring to destroy democratic rights of people, Congress West Bengal president and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, sought the Governor’s intervention to resolve the issues concerning the Jhalda Municipality that has been embroiled in a controversy since the civic polls in February.

This is the second letter Chowdhury has written to the newly appointed Governor  CV Ananda Bose regarding the civic body in Purulia district, urging the Governor to look “into this morass of political dirty game and retrieve the ethos of democracy”.

After the Congress won trust vote in November-end, it was supposed to form the civic body board within seven days (till Monday). But the state government on Friday nominated an administrator for the municipality while the Congress on Saturday formed the board and elected Sheela Chatterjee as new chairman.

Chowdhury wrote in the fresh letter, “I am constrained to seek your intervention as the constitutional head (of the state) with regard to tyranny of state instrumentalities. Ever since the outcome of Jhalda Municipality election indicated the defeat of ruling party, a reign of terror was unleashed to thwart any attempt of Congress to constitute the board. In a deliberate design an elected Congress councillor Tapan Kandu was eliminated which prompted the investigation of CBI itself.”

Instead of an elected chairman, an administrator was appointed by breaching the laid-out norms, let alone statutory provisions of Municipality Act, he alleged.

“…when the government institutions itself are throttling the democratic rights of elected people, I thought it prudent to flag your attention and seek your intervention into this morass of political dirty game and retrieve the ethos of democracy.”

The Congress last month had formed the municipal board after five TMC councillors remained absent during the trust vote. As a result, the TMC lost control of the urban body. The trust vote was scheduled on the directions of the Calcutta High Court after the Congress and Independent councillors brought a no-confidence motion against civic body chairman Suresh Agarwal.

Meanwhile, the Congress decided to again move the High court to seek a solution.

The TMC, however, claimed the trust vote which was called by Congress was not legal. State Municipal Affair Minister Firhad Hakim said the new administrator will call the meeting in which a call on the chairman will be taken.



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