Kolkata, Jan 2 (IANS) On a day of dramatic developments, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday declared as null and void the no-confidence motion passed by Trinamool Congress members against BJP-ruled Bhatpara Municipality Chairman Sourav Singh.
The court order came hours after Trinamool Congress councillors passed the no-confidence motion at a special session of the municipality with a 19-0 margin amidst stringent security. None of the BJP councillors attended the session.
However, BJP MP from Barrackpore, Arjun Singh, claimed that voting was held in violation of the rules under the Municipal Act. “We will move the Calcutta High Court soon,” he said.
The BJP knocked on the doors of the judiciary by moving a writ petition in the afternoon and Justice Arindam Sinha declared “null and void” the meeting convened by three Trinamool councillors for removal of the Chairman.
“On the writ petition, my lord justice Arindam Sinha has declared as null and void the meeting called by some councillors for removal of Bhatpara Municipality Chairman. The meeting was cancelled as it was bad in law. The entire proceedings of the meeting have been cancelled,” said a lawyer of the petitioners.
“Following a notice of no-confidence, the Chairman had fixed January 20 as the date for the meeting. But the three Trinamool councillors contended that they won’t wait till January 20. They gave a notice on December 30 that the no-confidence motion will be brought on January 2,” he said.
Clearly aggrieved over the high court order, the Trinamool asserted that it would move the division bench of the court on Friday.
“We will appeal to the division bench tomorrow (Friday). We don’t understand this directive that the no-confidence has to be taken up on January 20,” said state Food Minister and Trinamool President in North 24 Parganas district, Jyotipriyo Mullick.
After registering its best ever show in the state last year by securing 18 of the 42 Lok Saba seats, the BJP retained the momentum by capturing one municipality after another as Trinamool councillors crossed over to the saffron party in waves.
Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district opened the floodgate of desertions from the Trinamool ranks to the BJP, days after the party snatched the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat.
Arjun Singh, a former Trinamool MLA known for his muscle and money power, crossed over to the BJP and pocketed the LS seat by unseating former Union Minister Dinesh Trivedi.
In June last year, 19 Trinamool councillors had switched their allegiance to the BJP.
The BJP tally had at one time swelled to 26 in the 34-member board.
But the script was reversed soon, as the Trinamool fought back to wrest control of all the seven municipalities which had swung the BJP’s way after the LS polls.
In November, the BJP got a huge blow, as 12 of its councillors in Bhatpara municipality returned to the Trinamool Congress, which regained majority.