Trinamool Congress suffered a major setback on Thursday when its chairman in Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) was removed, following a no confidence motion against him. Congress and Left Front voted in favour of the motion. Congress and Trinamool jointly run the municipality.
Nantu Paul, chairman of the SMC, had left the Congress to jointhe Trinamoolon September 26 last year. Paul got only 15 votes while 29 voted against him. The Left Front has 17 councillors, Congress 14 and the Trinamool 15. One post is vacant.
On February 1, the high court directed Paul to go in for a fresh vote of confidence following a no-trust moved against him by the Left Front. The court also directed Paul to serve a removal meeting notice by February 4.
Since Paul joined the Trinamool, Congress had been demanding his removal even from the post of councillor under the anti-defection law. The Left planned to bring a no confidence motion against Paul. However, the notices were gathering dust till the high court ordered Paul to call a removal meeting.
In a secret ballot under the acting chairmanship of Dilip Singh, 16 Left Front and 13 Congress councillors voted in favour of removal. One Congress councillor was absent and Dilip Singh (the acting chairman of the CPM) did not vote. All Trinamool councillors voted for him.
Speaking to the media, North Bengal development minister who is also a councillor said,“Thursday’s development has again proved that Congress and CPI(M) have a nexus.”
However,Deb avoided a question whether the Trinamool would now withdraw from the civic board. “We will take a decision after talking with the party’s state committee.”
Congres sand Trinamool have been running the civic board since June 2011. Congress got the posts of mayor and chairman and three MMICs.Trina mool got deputy mayor and four MMICs. After Paul joined the Trinamool, the post of chairman went to the party.