FORMER TRINAMOOL Congress minister Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury on Thursday resigned as the chairperson of Malda Municipal Corporation, following directives in this regard from the party high command. Accusing Chowdhury of “high-handedness”, eight Trinamool councillors had resigned last month from the municipal council to put pressure on TMC and remove him as chairperson. However, Chowdhury had then refused to step down despite being served a notice by the party.
When contacted, Chowdhury on Thursday said: “Yesterday, I received a call from (minister) Subhendu Adhikari. He said that the party has decided that I resign from my post. So, I have handed over my resignation to the district magistrate and to secretary of the municipal corporation.”
“I will remain a faithful party worker. My loyalty has always been to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. We have been through many trials together. I have been the chairman of the municipal corporation four times — twice for the Congress and twice for the Trinamool. When I was in the Congress, she called me and I switched over to Trinamool,’’ he added.
Earlier, Malda’s Trinamool district president Moazzam Hossain said if Chowdhury refused to cooperate, the party would initiate a no-confidence motion in the municipal council against him.
“For some time now, the councillors have been complaining that Krishnendu doesn’t allow them to work in their constituencies. They have also accused him of consistently behaving badly with them,” he had added.
What tipped the balance in favour of the councillors is that Independent MLA from English Bazaar in Malda and Chowdhury’s long-time rival Nihar Ghosh, has promised to join Trinamool on the condition that Chowdhury be removed. Ghosh had fought the 2016 Assembly elections as an Independent but with the support of the CPM-Congress alliance.
However, aides close to Ghosh said that while the leader has been traditionally close to the Left, his primary goal has been the defeat and removal of Chowdhury.
Chowdhury’s clout in the area had taken a beating when he failed to muster enough supporters to fill a stadium from where Mamata was to start her campaign for the state polls.