Barasat: Notwithstanding the showboating, Arjun Singh, the muscleman MLA who defected from Trinamool to BJP last month, has lost his first election of the season.
Singh has been dethroned as the chairman of Bhatpara Municipality in North 24-Parganas following a no-confidence motion that was put to vote on Monday.
This comes ahead of the Lok Sabha election in which Singh is contesting from Barrackpore seat on BJP ticket.
Trinamool had moved the motion soon after Singh switched over to the BJP on 14 March. Bhatpara Municipality has 35 councillors and of this, 33 had won on Trinamool ticket, one on CPI-M ticket and, one seat is vacant due to the death of a councillor.
Adhering to the laid down norms, voting was today conducted to elect a new president of the municipality as it is the president who happens to be the Constitutional head of the civic body.
Singh fielded his follower councillor Pramod Singh as BJP’s contender. Trinamool fielded councillor Manoj Guha. The voting was conducted around 11.30 am through secret ballots and in this, Singh lost by 21:11 votes.
With his camp losing the presidential election, Singh, in turn, has ceased to be the chairman of Bhatpara Municipality.
Until a new chairman is elected again, the civic body will now be headed by the executive office, who is a government official.
Despite losing the motion, Singh tried to put up a brave face and said that Trinamool has coerced the councillors to vote against him.
Soon after Singh lost the chairmanship, a clash broke out between Trinamool and BJP workers in front of the municipality. Police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the warring groups.
Also, a BJP office in Ward 19 has been vandalised allegedly by Trinamool cadres. A BJP worker has been injured in the attack.