Asok Bhattacharya positive on Congress in SMC

Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya
Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya on Tuesday asserted that he would consider the proposal made by Congress councillors to include them in the board of Siliguri Municipal Corporation.
"We hope to complete our five years' tenure successfully at the civic body here. There had been non-cooperation from the state government but still we managed to run the board...I have decided to raise the proposal (to include Congress councillors in the civic board) at the meeting of the district Left Front. If required, we will also hold talks with the Congress leadership," said Asok, who completed his third year in the mayor's post on Tuesday.
Such assertion from the mayor is significant and indicates that the Left no longer wants to run a minority board.
In 2015, the Left had won in 23 of the 47 seats and formed the civic board with the support of the sole Independent councillor.

However, in 2016, the Left turned into minority as the only Forward Bloc councillor defected to Trinamul. Also, Arabinda Ghosh, the Independent councillor, expired.
Since then, the Left are running the civic body with 22 members, that is, two short of the majority mark. By-election is yet to be held in the independent councillor's ward.
Trinamul, on the other hand, has 18 councillors, Congress four and BJP two councillors in the SMC.
"Since September 2016 and till date, the mayor had to seek Congress' support to pass the annual budget and also for other important resolutions. That is why a proposal was mooted in March this year by Congress councillors that they want to be included in the SMC board. The move will also help the Left to retain majority," said an observer.

The Telegraph

Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya on Tuesday asserted that he would consider the proposal made by Congress councillors to include them in the board of Siliguri Municipal Corporation.

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