KOLKATA: A no-confidence motion moved by Trinamool Congress members against BJP-ruled Bhatpara Municipality Chairman Sourav Singh was passed by a 19-0 margin in a special session of the civic body called under the directive of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday.
Five days back, the motion had been passed by an identical margin, but the Calcutta High Court declared the entire process as null and void and ordered a repeat.
None of the BJP councillors attended the session.
The entire voting process was videographed as per the court's order. Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code were imposed and the Rapid Action Force and a large posse of police personnel were deployed in the municipality premises to prevent any breach of peace.
BJP leader and Barrackpore Lok Sabha MP Arjun Singh said his party councillors kept away from the session as the saffron outfit has already moved the Supreme Court on the issue.
State minister and Trinamool Congress leader Jyotipriyo Mullick said the results will be the same, irrespective of the number of times the voting was held.
Alleging the January 2 voting was held in violation of rules under the Municipal Act, the BJP knocked on the doors of the judiciary the same day by moving a writ petition, and Justice Arindam Sinha declared "null and void" the meeting convened by three Trinamool councillors for removal of the chairman.
Aggrieved over the high court order, the Trinamool moved the division bench of the court which ordered fresh voting on Tuesday.
After coming out with its most spectacular showing in the state mid last year by capturing 18 of the 42 Lok Saba seats, the BJP retained the momentum capturing one municipality after another as Trinamool councillors crossed over to the BJP in waves.
Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district opened the floodgate of desertions from the Trinamool ranks to the BJP, days after the party snatched the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat. Arjun Singh, a former Trinamool MLA known for his muscle power and money power, crossed over to the BJP and pocketed the LS seat by unseating former Union Minister Dinesh Trivedi.
In June, 19 Trinamool councillors had switched their allegiance to the BJP.
The BJP tally had at one time swelled to 26 in the 34-member board.
But the script was reversed soon, as the Trinamool fought back to wrest control of all the seven municipalities which had swung the BJP's way after the LS polls.
In November, the BJP got a huge blow, as 12 of its councillors in Bhatpara municipality returned to the Trinamool, which regained a majority.