STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Siliguri, 21 July
The state municipal affairs minister Mr Firhad Hakim said the state government would intervene if the stalemate at the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC)
continues, after the rural polls.
Mr Hakim also asked the Congress mayor Ms Gangotri Datta to go for a vote of confidence to prove her support.
"The common people of Siliguri are affected as the civic body has failed to provide basic services,” Mr Hakim said.
The arrogance of the mayor is also responsible for the situation. She must resign or must prove her support in the vote of confidence. We want the SMC to run under a democratic system.” Mr Hakim said in Siliguri today
The state government does not interfere into the functioning of the civic body but the government cannot play the role of a mute spectator if the impasse continues for a long time. If the deadlock continues then definitely the government will intervene after the rural polls," he added.
He said the government had been closely monitoring the functioning of the corporation.
"Time has not come to say whether the administrator will be appointed. But we will explore the legal options to decide on an appropriate step," he added.
Ms Datta said it was the political comment of the minister.
"I do not want to make any comment over a political statement," she said.
The stalemate has been continuing in the SMC after the controversial SMC chairman Mr Nantu Pal switched over to Trinamul Congress from Congress in September, last year.
The uncertainty deepened after the Trinamul Congress had withdrawn support from the Congress-Trinamul Congress SMC board reducing the Congress-led board to a minority. The corporation annual budget did not pass and the municipal affairs department had issued an order instructing the civic body commissioner to approve bills on regular expenditure pertaining to 21 heads.
Both the Congress and Left Front have been boycotting the monthly corporation board meetings because the parties have made it clear that they would not attend the board meetings to be presided over by the chairman, Mr Pal.