CPI-M leader and Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya has threatened to go on a hunger strike in protest against the alleged discriminatory attitude of the Mamata Banerjee government in disbursing funds for the Siliguri Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Mahakuma parishad ‘solely on the ground of their being run by the opposition parties’.
Alleging that a sum of Rs.100 crore is still due to the Siliguri civic body, Bhattacharya said ‘when all other municipalities and corporations receive their due funds from the state government, we are being deprived only because we are Leftists’.
‘I want to know as to why such a decision has been taken against us’, he said, adding ‘despite being an MLA and public representative, my phone calls are not entertained by any official and not by a joint secretary even…May be there is specific instruction in this regard’.
He further alleged that after he contacted state’s finance minister Amit Mitra seeking disbursement of funds, ‘he informed me that during our LF regime, we have left behind a debt burden of Rs.2 lakh crore which the present government has been repaying’.
The Siliguri mayor said ‘we will take out a grand march in protest in Siliguri on Thursday’. On 23 September, ‘we will launch a sit-in demonstration in front of the office of the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri development authority office with all our public representatives’, he added.
Bhattacharya said that in support of their demand, they would organise protest demonstrations in the city and launch a ‘march to Raj Bhavan’ at a later date.