DIBRUGARH, April 20 - With the post of the Chairman of the Dibrugarh Municipal Board (DMB) falling vacant with Anuradha Dey being shown the door by her own party cadres, a power game is unfolding in the municipal corridors. Because, up for grabs would be the posts of both Chairman and Vice Chairman.
Though DMB Vice Chairman Jogananda Sensowa is steadfastly refusing to let go of his chair, the 14 BJP Ward Commissioners (the party has 16 of the 22 Ward Commissioners here) and others are firm that Sensowa too has to go. Their allegation is that corruption, nepotism and favouritism have been taking place in the DMB under the joint tutelage of Dey and Sensowa. Both are from the Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan camp.
It may be noted here that Phukan has become highly unpopular in the city in the past one-and-a-half years, following corruption allegations against him.
Today, Sensowa created a scene in the municipality office here and caused quite a flutter among the employees. He arranged a puja at the Chairman’s chamber, and then made himself comfortable on the Chairman’s chair.
“As officiating Chairman, Sensowa should have functioned from his existing chamber,” remarked an RSS activist, who was witnessing the developments. While he was enjoying his day today, angry BJP Ward Commissioners asked him why he is doing so, as a new Vice Chairman would be selected along with a new Chairman on Monday.
Sensowa appears unwilling to let go of his post, until he is ejected by the party.
In this milieu, the race for the post of the new DMB Chairman and Vice Chairman has gained momentum, with several names flashing in and out among the BJP cadres here. In the 22-ward DMB, the BJP has 16 Ward Commissioners, Congress has 5 and there is one independent candidate who supports the BJP. By the way, the independent councilor, Tushar Choudhury was earlier a Congressman. The AGP has no member in the DMB.
As per municipal rules, the Dibrugarh MP, Dibrugarh MLA and Lahowal MLA are also ex-officio members of the municipality here.
As the Chairman’s post of the DMB this time is reserved for women, several women Ward Commissioners have thrown in their hats for consideration. These include Shoma Chakraborty and Priyanka Saikia Borthakur. For the Vice Chairman’s post, a popular choice is Dr Saikat Patra. But his chief rivals are Mukul Deka and Sudama Pandey. Dr Patra was poached from the Congress into the saffron fold by Prasanta Phukan. The perception that the two are in the same camp is working to Dr Patra’s disadvantage. Pandey, a BJP old timer, is pinning his hopes on the ‘blessings’ from Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, as he is a fierce loyalist of the latter.
The new Chairman and Vice Chairman of the DMB are likely to be finalised by Sunday, so that they can take oath on Monday.
The names would be prepared and forwarded by district BJP president Indra Gogoi and approved by State BJP chief Ranjit Dass, in consultation with the Chief Minister.