The Congress leadership in Murshidabad on Sunday accused the local Left leaders of engaging in blatant horse-trading to take hold of all permanent boards (sthayee samities) of the panchayat samity in the Raghunathganj block-II area.
It was alleged that the local Left Front leaders offered cash inducements worth Rs16 lakh to two elected Trinamool Congress members in lieu of their support. The move helped the Left Front stake claim to the permanent boards, claimed local Congress leaders.
The voting for formation of the boards took place on Saturday.
The Raghunathganj-II panchayat samity comprises 10 gram panchayats, of which the Congress won four and the Trinamool and Left Front took one and five respectively.
Again, of the 29 seats in fray for the panchayat samity, Congress bagged 13, Left Front took 14 and the Trinamool rounded off the tally with two.
The Murshidabad zilla parishad features a further two members from the Congress and one from the Left Front from the panchayat samity area.
The area is further home to a sitting MP and MLA of the Congress.
Both the Congress and Left Front had 21 members to vote for electing the karmadhayakshas and form the permanent boards.
However, both needed another two elected members to stake a claim to the boards.
It was alleged that during the voting process on Saturday, two Trinamool members voted in favour of the Left Front, thereby helping it form the 10 permanent boards, including the finance board.
The same was a clear violation of the whip issued by Trinamool, asking all its elected rural body members to refrain from entering into a covert alliance with the Congress or Left Front.
The move to set up the permanent boards followed a few days after Afroza Bibi of the Left Front was elected sabhapati of the panchayat samity.
“The move clearly goes to show that the Trinamool leaders in Murshidabad are nothing but a B-team of the CPI(M). I had approached Skeikh Furkan, a Trinamool leader in Jangipur, and he promised to help us take nine of the ten permanent boards.
We had even offered the post of Karmadhayaksha to a Trinamool member.
But I later got to know that he took Rs. 16 lakh from the Left leaders and got two Trinamool members with voting rights to help the Left Front the permanent boards, ” Md. Akhruzzaman, Congress MLA from Raghunathganj said.
However, district Trinamool working president Humayun Kabir denied the claim, saying, “I wish to ask Md. Akhruzzaman if he was present during voting on Saturday. If not, he has not right to bring such baseless alle gations against our leaders.”
“The Congress members abstained from the voting process to form the permanent boards and elect Karmadhayaksha. Hence, we formed the boards,” Mriganka Bhattacharya, the CPI(M) district secretary, told HT.