Civic body polls: Trinamool expels 61 leaders for not withdrawing candidature

Kolkata: As many as 61 disgruntled Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders who refused to withdraw their nomination as Independent candidates for the ensuing municipality polls from different urban local bodies in North 24-Parganas district were expelled from the party on Sunday.

Partha Chatterjee, national vice-president of TMC, at a press conference, stated that if some of the Independents have been thinking that TMC will welcome them in the party if they win the elections, they are wrong."None of them will win so there is no question of their returning," he said.

"Some leaders had left TMC before the Assembly elections and shifted to BJP. Now, after we swept the polls convincingly many of them have evinced interest to return. But all of them have not been welcomed. Our party supremo Mamata Banerjee takes the final call in consultation with the other leadership," he added.

The district leadership had given them 48-hour ultimatum for withdrawal of nominations.

According to TMC sources, there are 25 municipalities in North 24-Parganas and 67 TMC leaders from a number of urban local bodies had filed their nominations as independent. Six of them followed the party's directions and withdrew, however, the majority of them, 61 were adamant to not withdraw their nominations.

"We have expelled 61 leaders who disobeyed the party stricture when it comes to contesting the civic polls," Partha Bhowmick, organisation district president of TMC in Dum Dum—Barrackpore said.

Among those who have been expelled include two from North Barrackpore, two from South Dum Dum, two from Khardah, four from Ashoknagar–Kalyangarh, one from Taki, nine from Titagarh, two from Gobardanga, nine from Baduria, nine from Barasat, two from North Dum Dum, eight from Kamarhati, nine from Bongaon and from New Barrackpore municipalities.

Senior TMC MPs and MLAs from the districts like Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Jyotipriya Mallick, Chandrima Bhattacharjee, Rathin Ghosh and others held a meeting on Sunday to finalise the decision of showing the exit door to these 61 leaders.

Suman Dutta, former chairman of Gobardanga municipality who had filed nomination as Independent was among the prominent party leaders who had declared that he will not be contesting in the polls and distributed leaflets in this regard.

Meanwhile, two TMC leaders from Egra municipality of East Midnapore, Baidyanath Patra and Sajahan Mallick have also been expelled from the party for the same reasons. Patra had filed nomination as Independent from ward 6 while Mallick from ward 8.

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