Kolkata, Sep 20 (IANS) The Trinamool Congress Friday wrested control of the Haldia Municipality with three Left Front councillors crossing over and voting against the existing board run by the opposition front.
Trinamool Congress councillors had brought a no-confidence motion against chairperson Tamalika Panda Seth, and it was passed 14-11. Two councillors of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and another of the Communist Party of India (CPI) voted for the motion. Another CPI-M councillor stayed away.
The LF had last year won the municipality in East Midnapore, a district where the Trinamool has been holding sway for the last five years. The LF leaders had then hailed the victory as an indication of the people's disenchantment with the Trinamool, which came to power in 2011.
Seth, however, blamed the defeat on the Trinamool's threats and intimidation of the LF councillors.
"There was concerted harassment of the Left Front councillors from the day they took oath. Other than threats and intimidation, they were subjected to arrests, their jobs were taken away and they were forced to go into hiding. Even their sons' jobs were at stake," she alleged.
"We have the support of the people. But the councillors have yielded to the pressure heaped by the Trinamool," she said.
Tamluk MP and Trinamool leader Subhendu Adhikari however said the change of regime in the municipality has happened through the democratic process and as per the municipal laws.
"Three LF councillors supported us because they want development," he said.