As a tug of war between Trinamool Congress and BJP continues over control of civic bodies, the chairman of Gangarampur municipality in Dakshin Dinajpur district has come up with an idea to keep an eye on councillors ahead of a no-confidence vote on August 5. Municipality Chairman Prashant Mitra has ordered installation of CCTVs outside houses of the councillors — the official reason being their security.
Trinamool Congress had won all 18 seats in Gangarampur municipality. After the Lok Sabha polls, however, Mitra’s brother Biplab Mitra, who is also a former MLA and Trinamool Congress leader, joined the BJP. Following this, both brothers were expelled from the party and 11 councillors in the civic body opposed Mitra as the Chairman.
The Trinamool is trying to bring in a no-confidence motion against Mitra. The no-confidence motion is scheduled to be brought in on August 5 and followed by a vote.
On Wednesday, Mitra issued the order to install CCTVs outside the houses of all councillors. He said the CCTVs will be monitored by police.
“This is for the security of the councillors. Being the Chairman, it is my responsibility to ensure their security. That is why CCTVs will be put up outside their houses. We have earmarked Rs 80,000 for the purpose,” Mitra told The Indian Express.
“The CCTV’s will be monitored by the police. This will ensure that none of the councillors face problems ahead of the no-confidence vote. We fear that there may be attempts to threaten them or even woo them through various means.
There may be attempts to mount pressure on them,” said Mitra. So far, CCTVs have been put up outside the houses of 11 councillors.
Mitra alleged that councillors, who are his supporters, are being threatened by the Trinamool Congress.
“TMC is threatening the councillors, who are with me, over the phone. If they are attacked, then CCTV footage will lead us to the culprits. TMC cannot deny its involvement,” said Mitra.
Meanwhile, the district TMC leadership has stated that Mitra will lose the trust vote.
“All the councillors are from Trinamool Congress. They do not want him as the Chairman and he will lose. That is why he is levelling baseless allegations,” said Arpita Ghosh, Trinamool Congress head of Dakshin Dinajpur district.
After the Lok Sabha poll results, in which the BJP bagged 18 seats and Trinamool 22 in West Bengal, the former has been accused of orchestrating defections and trying to grab control of civic bodies. Trinamool Congress has been able to woo back a section of the leaders and councillors. The BJP was seen trying to wrest power in several civic bodies, including Bhatpara, Halisahar and Bongaon.
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