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Calcutta HC sets Tuesday for fresh meeting of Bhatpara civic body


Kolkata, Jan 06: The Calcutta High Court on Monday ruled that a fresh meeting of Bhatpara Municipality councillors for moving a no-confidence motion against its chairman be held on Tuesday.

The division bench asked the chairman of the civic body and the district magistrate of North 24 Parganas to issue separate notices for the proceedings at 1 pm on Tuesday. Directing the district magistrate to be present at the meeting, the bench, comprising Justices Dipankar Datta and Protik Prakash Banerjee, sought a report on the proceedings in a sealed cover on Thursday.

Calcutta HC sets Tuesday for fresh meeting of Bhatpara civic body

It also ordered the Barrackpore Police to ensure that law and order was maintained during the process. Three TMC councillors had on Friday moved an appeal before the division bench, challenging a single bench order that set aside a no-confidence motion brought by the party against Sourav Singh, the BJP chairman of Bhatpara Municipality.

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The no-confidence motion against Singh was passed by a margin of 19-0 in the 35-member civic body on Thursday, as other councillors were not present during the proceedings.

A BJP councillor, however, moved the court, challenging the notice issued by TMC councillors for a meeting to move the no-confidence motion against the chairman.

The single bench on Thursday declared that the meeting called on January 2 for moving the no-confidence motion as "null and void".

Justice Arindam Sinha, after hearing a writ petition by a BJP member, had said that "any action taken pursuant thereto is of no consequence."

The Bhatpara Municipality chairman had convened a meeting on January 20 for bringing the no-confidence motion. However, the TMC councillors had refused to wait till then and issued a notice on December 30 for holding the meeting on January 2.

The BJP petitioner had argued that councillors cannot issue such a notice on their own, as it was against the state municipal laws.

Equations had changed in the civic body last year, with 26 TMC councillors switching over to the saffron party following the Lok Sabha polls, in which former TMC MLA Arjun Singh won the Barrackpore seat on a BJP ticket.

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Arjun Singh, who was earlier the chairman of the Trinamool Congress-run board, resigned and his nephew Sourav Singh took charge in June.

Over the past few months, however, most the defectors returned to the ruling party, following which the TMC councillors moved a no-confidence motion against the chairman.

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