Talks fail on merger of Bally, Howrah civic bodies

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Updated: July 18, 2015 3:23 am

A meeting of all parties called at the State Election Commission (SEC) on Friday failed to come to a conclusion on the addition of 16 new wards of Bally to the Howrah Municipality as Opposition parties raised various technical issues related to the development.

The hour-long meeting called by state election commissioner Susanta Ranjan Upadhyay was attended by representatives of all major political parties to discuss on problems arising by merging of the two municipal corporation bodies.

“Normally wards are named from the North-east part of any municipality and in that case, wards with numbers 1 to 16 should belong to the Bally area and Howrah should be from numbered from 17 to 66. In case that happens, there would also be a change in the reservation status of the wards,” said Asim Sarkar, who was representing BJP at the meeting.

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Senior CPM leader Rabin Deb pointed out that the merger would also affect the tenure of the newly elected councillors. “The next election to the Howrah Municipality is due after three-and-a-half years. But, will the tenure of the newly elected councillors of Bally also be the same instead of five years? This is beyond our Constitution. There needs to be a new law in this case,” Deb said.

Agriculture Minister Arup Roy told mediapersons: “CPM and BJP leaders have pointed out certain problems which need to be sorted out. The SEC had said that it will have to find a way to end this logjam for which another meeting has been called on July 24.”

SEC Upadhyay said he would seek legal opinion to iron out all the issues before the next meeting.

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