Defections continue, more civic bodies fall in Trinamool’s kitty

Trinamool Congress continues to take over municipalities across the state by engineering defections from Congress and the Left. On Monday, councillors of several municipalities and other elected representatives of various parties joined the ruling party.

Two Congress councillors — Mausumi Ghosh and Binoy Singh — from Howrah Municipality joined the TMC. Of the 50 seats, TMC had won 42 in the last elections here; now its tally is 44 .

From Arambagh Municipality, which used to be a Left-run board, five CPM councillors — Sanchita Mondal, Shivnarayan Malik, Rafiqul Islam, Sujit Reza and Asit Baran Laik — and one Forward Bloc councillor and vice-chairman of the board, Deepak Sarkar, too, joined the TMC today.

Their crossover took place in the presence of All India Trinamul Congress general secretary Mukul Roy and ministers Chandrima Bhattacharya and Arup Roy.

"The board will automatically come under the TMC now," said Mukul Roy said.

The TMC also took control of the New Barrackpore Municipality, which it was managing jointly with the Congress. With four of them Congress, including councillors Gauri Dey, Prabir Sil and Mira Das and vice-chairman Manoj Niiyogi joining the TMC, the Municipality would be a TMC show now.

"From Jadishpur in Raigunj block, elected representatives from Congress have joined the TMC today. These, along with Samajwadi Party state secretary Ritesh Mukherjee, have decided to strengthen our hands as they want to be a part of development that the present government has brought about," Mukul Roy said.

He said people from Darjeeling parties have evinced interest in joining the TMC. He said under the leadership of Youth TMC leader Bishal Kshetry, elected representatives such as Tirthanath Sharma, Nikodin Damodar, Ramchandra Kshetry and Mukul Tikotti have joined the TMC today.

While the CPM leaders said their workers have been forced to join TMC at gunpoint, Congress said it was good riddance. "The police officials of Arambagh, under the instruction of Mukul Roy, had coerced these people, threatening them with implications in false cases, carrying out raids at their places and ransacking their houses for no reason," said CPIM leader Rabin Deb.

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