KOLKATA: Claiming that eight Halisahar Municipality councillors were forced to join the saffron camp, Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim produced the eight councillors at the ruling party’s office in Kolkata and claimed that have returned to the Trinamool.
The eight councillors had joined the BJP in May along with other elected representatives from two other civic bodies.
“These councillors were threatened. One of their candle manufacturing units was ransacked by BJP-backed goons in Halisahar. They threatened our councillors with dire consequences. These eight representatives were compelled to go to Delhi and join the BJP. They met CM Mamata Banerjee on Monday and narrated their plight. At present, we have 12 councillors out of 21 at Halisahar municipality,’’ said Hakim.
On May 28, altogether 29 councillors from Halisahar, Kanchrapara and Naihati municipalities were taken to the BJP’s headquarters in Delhi and they were handed over saffron flags in presence of senior BJP leader Mukul Roy and the newly elected MP from Barrackpore Arjun Singh.
‘‘The councillors are with the BJP and what they did today was out of Trinamool’s fear. We will bring a no-confidence motion shortly at Halisahar municipality to establish our majority,’’ Singh said.
Meanwhile, a majority of the councillors of Bidhannagar municipality brought a no-confidence motion against mayor Sabyasachi Dutta on Tuesday, a day after Hakim labelled him as a traitor.
Thirty-five of 41 councillors signed in favour of the no-confidence motion and the deputy mayor of the civic body, Tapas Chatterjee, who was asked to clear the decks for a change of guard, submitted the councillors consent to the corporation’s chairperson Krishna Chakrabarty.
Chakrabarty, who has expressed her keenness to succeed Dutta and a key runner for the mayor’ post, said, ‘‘Majority of the councillors gave their consent to bring a no-confidence motion against Dutta. We are waiting in case more councillors come forward to support the motion,’’ said Chakrabarty.