The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Saturday filed nomination for the post of mayor and chairman to the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) despite the CPM having the required number of seats to sail through.
The move comes after Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, with 17 SMC seats, had announced to sit in the opposition soon after the election results were announced on April 28.
The CPM, which won 23 of the 47 seats and secured support of one Independent councillor, looks all set to form the SMC board later this month with leader Asok Bhattacharya, who filed his nomination on Friday, to take charge as mayor.
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While it remains unclear what prompted Trinamool’s move to file the nomination — the party has nominated Nantu Pal for the post of mayor and Ranjan Sarkar for that of chairman — its leader and north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb, who was in-charge of Siliguri during the polls, had conducted a meeting with all 17 victorious candidates of the party on Friday to decide on the nominations.
When asked about the equation based on which the decision was taken, he said on Saturday: “We cannot divulge our strategies to the media. But we have decided to fight.”
Pal, who had earlier took the party’s stance of sitting in the opposition, said after his nomination that “Trinamool would fight till the end and would not back out”.
With the developments on Saturday, the selection of mayor and chairman will primarily be decided on the day of board formation, likely to be at the end of the month.
Trinamool Congress, which has called for voting, has put the Left Front in a difficult position.
“We do not know what kind of game they are trying to play. We have got the figure to form the board; they do not. We are not sure if they could keep 14 of their 17 councillors till the end. We are not concerned about our party members. But there must be a mystery equation which has led to this situation,” said CPM’s mayoral nominee, Bhattacharya.