No loot of votes in January 22 civic poll: TMC

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Trinamool Congress on Friday asserted that there will be no “loot of votes” or “strong arm tactics” during the January 22 poll to four civic bodies in West Bengal and strict disciplinary action will be taken against “stray elements” in the party if there was any excesses by them.

The ruling TMC will win the municipal corporation poll by an emphatic margin because of its large volume of work, party veteran Sougata Roy told reporters while launching the manifesto for Bidhanmagar Municipal Corporation polls.

Reminded of reports of large scale rigging and malpractices during the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation poll in October, 2015, the last election in the civic body of the satellite township near Kolkata, Roy said, “Forget what happened in the past. There will be no loot of votes. We will win on the strength of the volume of work done for the people of Bidhannagar and in other places.”

Several reporters and camera persons were allegedly assaulted by unidentified men when they were covering the Bidhannagar election in October 2015. Opposition parties CPI(M), Congress and BJP had blamed TMC for it and alleged malpractices.

“We have zero tolerance to any strong arm tactics by anyone during the coming civic poll as was stated by our national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee before the December Kolkata Municipal Corporation poll. We will not allow any excesses. Like in the past we will again win with the peoples mandate. Why should we adopt any unfair means?” Roy added.

Taking a jibe at Roy, BJP spokesman Samik Bhattacharya said “He is a veteran MP who won the best parliamentarian honour in the past. But going by the experience in the December KMC poll when rigging and bogus voting by TMC was rampant, we do not have any faith in what he assures about the coming polls in Bidhannagar or in the other civic bodies.”

Election to Siliguri, Asansol and Chandannagar Municipal Corporation poll will be held along with the Bidhannagar civic body election.

TMC MLA Sujit Bose, who had been accused of aiding large scale malpractices in the 2015 Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation poll by the opposition and had denied the charges, was present and nodded in agreement.

Among the poll promises made by TMC was preventing water logging in areas under three civic bodies. “To combat increased water logging like it happened a few months ago due to change in the pattern of rainfall, experts from reputed institutes will be consulted to find sustainable and scientific solutions,” the party said in its manifesto for Bidhannagar.

A water supply master plan will be made in consultation with international experts, it said and advocated mandatory water harvesting and recycling structures in all newly constructed residential and commercial properties over 10,000 sqm.

The TMC manifesto also promised construction of a solid waste processing plant within the next five years and phasing out of open vats by increasing the number of covered bins and waste compactor stations.

For Chandernagore, the TMC manifesto advocated sustainable and scientific solutions, prevention of solid waste dumping, facilitating 100 per cent tap water connections and setting up of two new booster pumping stations to ensure continuous water supply to each household.

For Siliguri, the party promised to set up two additional drainage pumping stations and facility of two jet-cum-suction machines to tackle the water logging issues in the city.

The party also gave a slew of promises to improve the civic amenities in Siliguri, the most important city in north Bengal and the gateway to the north east.

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