Amid high drama and clashes over a board meeting of West Bengal's Bongaon municipality called on Tuesday to debate a no-confidence resolution, both the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed to have proved their majority.
Of the 22 members of the municipality in the North 24 Parganas district, 20 belonged to the Trinamool and one each to the CPI-M and the Congress. But shortly after the BJP's victory in the Bongaon Lok Sabha seat, 11 Trinamool councillors shifted their allegiance to the BJP and claimed that the Trinamool-run board had been reduced to a minority.
They also approached the high court claiming that the no-confidence resolution moved by them was rejected by the Chairman, and the state government was planning to appoint an administrator to run the civic body.
A special board meeting of the municipality was scheduled on Tuesday to take up and vote on the resolution.
But the situation became tense in the afternoon when the police allegedly stopped two rebel councillors from entering the municipality on the pretext of non-bailable charges against them.
The BJP supporters and activists clashed with the police, broke the barricade and pelted stones at houses and shops in the area, accusing the cops of working at the behest of the ruling party.
Police carried out a baton charge to disperse the crowd.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool councillors claimed they had retained control of the municipal board as the rebel councillors failed to attend the board meeting within the scheduled time of 3 p.m.
"The board is in our control. The BJP-backed councillors failed to attend the board meeting. Nine TMC councillors and one Congress councillor voted in favour of the present board. We have won," said Bongaon municipality Chairman Shankar Adhya.
On the other hand, the rebel councillors, who entered the municipality after much altercation, claimed they had brought in the no-confidence motion with majority of councillors at their side.
"We brought in the no confidence resolution. Two of our colleagues were illegally stopped by the police from participating in the meeting. We could enter the municipality after 3.30 p.m. and met the Executive Officer. We passed the resolution with 11 of our councillors voting for it," said a rebel councillors.
The EO had 'counter-signed' the resolution of no-confidence, they added.
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