statesman news service
SILIGURI, 28 JUNE: The Cooch Behar district Trinamul Congress set a deadline of 30 June and asked over 200 dissidents, who are contesting in rural polls against official candidates, to circulate leaflets among voters declaring that they are out of fray and vote for party candidates.
Party sources said district leadership would terminate them from party if they (dissidents) do not follow the party whip.
The Cooch Behar district Trinamul Congress president, Mr Rabindranath Ghosh, said: “Initially several party workers wanted to contest the rural polls. More than 1,000 such workers filed nominations but finally the party had not allotted tickets to all of them. We had issued letters asking them to withdraw their nomination papers on time. Though 80 per cent workers had withdrawn their nominations, nearly 250 candidates are still contesting against official candidates.”
“We do not have any problem in the zilla parishad and panchayat samiti level. But in the gram panchayat level, more than 200 workers are in the fray. We have set 30 June as deadline and asked them to declare that they are not contesting the rural polls. If they do not do obey, we would terminate them from the party,” Mr Ghosh said.
Mr Ghosh said that uncertainty over conducting rural polls had already started affecting services to the people since the self government local bodies are not functioning here.
"The present situation has an effect on the rhythm of rural polls campaigning," Mr Ghosh said, adding, “We have changed the style of campaigning after the state election commission went to the Apex court. During rural poll campaigning, the Trinamul Congress leaders are arguing the fact that Chief Minister Miss Mamata Banerjee wanted to hold rural polls in winter but the Opposition prevented her from conducting polls before monsoon.”
“The people of north Bengal as well as Cooch Behar depend on agriculture. It is high time for agriculture because monsoon has already started in this region and they have engaged in cultivation jobs. Despite the fact, people in Cooch Behar want vote as per scheduled announced earlier,” said Mr Ghosh.