Ahead of the upcoming WB Panchayat elections, the TMC has made it mandatory for all 322 candidates in Goghat, Hooghly district to give a written undertaking that they will not be involved in corruption or any sort of illegal practices if elected.
Ahead of the upcoming West Bengal Panchayat elections, the Trinamool Congress has made it mandatory for all 322 candidates in Goghat, Hooghly district to give a written undertaking that they will not be involved in corruption or any sort of illegal practices if elected.
“I pledge that if the Trinamool Congress nominates me or I am elected as a member of the gram panchayat or Panchayat Samiti, my family will not avail (government) schemes and farm equipment or use my influence without the party’s permission. I will not indulge in the private contractor business, toll booths or sand mining.”
The latest move comes after it received several complaints about its Panchayat members being involved in illegal sand mining and the toll booth business. As per the Indian Express, all TMC candidates in Goghat- 272 gram panchayat seats, 46 Panchayat Samiti seats and four Zilla Parishad seats — have furnished the written undertaking. The party also set a 15-point questionnaire, in which candidates have to specify the time they will spend on their work over the next five years if they elected and a detailed biography, their income and the history of the family member’s association with other political parties in the past.
Speaking to The Indian Express, TMC MLA from Goghat Manas Majumder said: “Our party leader Mamata Banerjee works more than 18 hours a day and is a symbol of honesty and transparency. Following her values, we have decided that all candidates should submit a written undertaking. In some cases, we have received complaints that panchayat members and their relatives get state benefits and use their influence while ignoring villagers.”
“There have been instances where panchayat members have been involved in the private contractor business, illegal toll booths and sand mining. This undertaking will ensure that they are not involved in this or disassociate themselves from such activities when they get a party ticket,” Majumder said to IE.
“This undertaking will ensure that we have knowledge of his income. If it increases manifold in the coming years the candidate can be challenged. If they do not spend the time specified for work, they will be pulled up,” he said to IE.
Anima Katari, party candidate, from Goghat told IE that move will reflect transparency in the coming days. “This is a welcome initiative. The villagers are appreciating this. This move will reflect transparency in our party under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee.” In her undertaking, Katari expressed to work 24 hours for the party if elected.
TMC under fire
The Trinamool Congress has also been at the centre of fire after the opposition parties alleged it of creating violence across the state and stopped Opposition candidates from filing nominations.
On Wednesday, the Calcutta High court has extended the stay on the poll process till today as the court will hear the matter again. The opposition, BJP, had challenged the West Bengal State Election Commission’s withdrawal of its April 9 notification that extended the date for filing nominations by a day. Hearing the petition, Calcutta High court judge Justice Subrata Talukdar has sought a detailed report from the state election commission on the action taken so far regarding the complaints made by the opposition parties.
Another opposition party, CPI(M) had sought the removal of State Election Commissioner Amarendra Kumar Singh’s from the post, claiming that he had betrayed the faith reposed in him by the Constitution. The party also claimed before the court that the State Election Commissioner had acted as a “stooge of the Trinamool Congress”.
Apart from BJP and CPI(M), PDS and the Congress also have moved the high court separately challenging the State Election Commission’s decision.
The term of the panchayat bodies ends in August and according to the original schedule, polls are to be held on May 1, 3 and 5 with results on May 8.