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7 Jan 2017

Ghatak rage reveals pangs

TT, Siliguri, Jan. 6: Siliguri Congress councillor Sujoy Ghatak, from whom mayor Asok Bhattacharya had sought support, today waved a document on details of SMC's ward-wise funds allocation to prove that the CPM leader had unfairly treated ally Congress.
Ghatak recently resigned as borough chairman of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC), pointing to the mayor's mistreatment of the alliance, the much talked about Siliguri Model.
Bhattacharya, who runs a minority board, had written to Ghatak days later seeking his and his party's support.
But Ghatak, who returned to Siliguri from Calcutta today, seemed unperturbed by the letter. Such aggressiveness could indicate the Congress is changing its political stance at the SMC. "So far, Congress councillors had either remained silent or supported the Left on some issues. Though they sit in the opposition benches, they were never seen joining Trinamul or the BJP in protests and arguments," a political observer said. "This is the first time they have become so vocal against the civic board."
Ghatak today distributed among journalists photocopies of a document signed by Nurul Islam, the MMIC (PWD and buildings) with details of funds allocated to all 47 wards. "This document is enough to validate my claim that the Left is acting biased against us, even though they need our support to run the civic board."
He added: "The board has allotted funds to the tune of Rs 1.51 crore for wards where there are Trinamul councillors and Rs 1.81 crore to wards where there are CPM councillors. Also, for the two wards where there are BJP councillors, a sum of Rs 30 lakh has been allotted while a meagre sum of Rs 5 lakh has been allotted in all four wards where we have our representatives," the Congress councillor said.
After stepping down from his post as borough chairman, Ghatak had informed state party leaders that Left leaders have been "ignoring" the Congress councillors.
"I am yet to see the letter that the mayor has sent me. Let me reiterate that I will not return to the borough chairman's post. As far as our support is concerned, we can think of it only after the mayor nullifies my point with proper reasons that our wards are not being deprived of allocation of funds. Also, we need to take advice from PCC leaders on the issue of support," Ghatak said.

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