Mamata makes dent in Cong bastion, 2 MLAs set to join Trinamool

The Congress had declared a "war" against the Trinamool Congress ahead of the panchayat elections, but Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has struck back. She has successfully weaned two Congress MLAs from the party citadels of Malda and Murshidabad.

Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury, MLA from Englishbazar in Malda, has already met Mamata and said he will join the Trinamool soon. Humayun Kabir, MLA from Rejinagar in Murshidabad district, has said he will join the TMC on November 20.

While Choudhury said he was quitting the Congress because of the dictatorial attitude of the members of the ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury family of Malda — especially Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury, brother of the late Malda Congress strongman and Union minister of state for health and family welfare, and Ghani Khan's niece and Malda MP Mausam Benazir Noor — Kabir fired salvos at Murshidabad Congress district chief and Union minister of state for railways Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, saying he was destroying the Congress party.

Both Choudhury and Kabir are likely to be included in the cabinet in the reshuffle scheduled in the month-end.

Kabir, who joined a railway function on November 11 at Plassey in Murshidabad presided over by Choudhury and heaped praises on his mentor, today said he was not getting proper respect in the party.

"I used to look after Adhirda's road construction business, but was unceremoniously removed from the management. I am not called to party functions in my constituency. I went to Mamatadi. She said I would get due respect in her party,'' Kabir told The Indian Express from Behrampore.

Adhir Choudhury, however, said he was not bothered about the exit of Kabir. "He has been lured with the post of a minister and that is why he is leaving. I think it is good riddance for us,'' Choudhury said.

Krishnendu claimed Abu Hasem and his people were corrupt and ruining the party.

The Congress said they would pay the Trinamool back in the same coin. "We will teach them a lesson,'' Pradip Bhattacharya, Pradesh Congress chief, said.

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