A CPM member of a hung gram panchayat at Kanksa near Durgapur has accused Trinamool workers of forcing him to resign so that the ruling party, Trinamool Congress gets a majority and forms the board.
Mrinal Sikdar, the CPM gram panchayat winner at Kanksa, has complained to the sub-divisional officer of Durgapur that he was made to sign forcibly on a blank sheet of paper on Saturday (August 3) by Trinamool activists who said that they would write his resignation and submit it to the block development officer.
Sikdar, a supervisor at a local brick kiln said in his complaint that a group of fifty Trinamool workers led by local leader Surajit Mandal forced him to sign on a blank paper on Saturday threatening to kill him and banish his family.
Refuting the charges against Trinamool workers, party youth wing leader Pallav Banerjee, who is also a panchayat samiti member in Kanksa, said: “We did not threaten any CPM gram panchayat member. Actually many CPM cadres now want to switch over to our party.”
At Bonkathi gram panchayat in Kanksa, both the CPM and Trinamool have won six seats each in the 13-member board. A Trinamool rebel who contested as an independent won another seat throwing up a hung body.
Sikdar met Durgapur sub-divisional officer Kasturi Sengupta on Monday and informed her about the alleged threats he has been facing from Trinamool workers since the gram panchayat results were declared on July 29.
“I have been staying at a relative’s house at night. I have requested the sub-divisional officer to provide me security as I don’t want to resign. I am a CPM worker for 30 years and filed my nominations despite intimidation from Trinamool,” Sikdar said after meeting Durgapur SDO Kasturi Sengupta.
There had been several complaints about Trinamool workers intimidating opposition party workers against filling nomination for the panchayat elections in entire Bardhaman district and Kanksa in particular.
According to sources Trinamool workers in Kanksa had earlier threatened Independent member Raghumani Soren, but he said he would support the ruling party only if made the Pradhan.
“Trinamool is now threatening Sikdar to resign after they failed to convince the Independent member. Trinamool has created an environment of terror here,” said Bireswar Mandal, a CPM district secretariat member.
In Kanksa block, there are seven gram panchayats, all of which were won by the CPM in the last panchayat elections in 2008. But this time, Trinamool has won four gram panchayats and the CPM has retained two – Kanksa and Trilokchandpur gram panchayats. The results for Bonkathi gram panchayat did not give any party a majority.
Sub-divisional officer kasturi sengupta said she had advised Sikdar to submit a complaint to the block development officer in writing. “Necessary action will be taken after investigation,” she said.