More Cong, GJM leaders defect to Trinamool

The Trinamool Congress on Monday saw a fresh batch of leaders and workers from other political parties joining it in the presence of the party's all-India general secretary, Mukul Roy.

The wave of joining Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's party seems to have engulfed the entire West Bengal ó from Darjeeling to Junglemahal and from Coochbehar to Contai, an elated Roy said after having paraded the new leaders on a makeshift podium.

Among the notable ones to have joined the Trinamool Congress today was Soumitra Khan, the Congress MLA from Kotolput village in Bankura. Khan joined with a large number of Congress leaders and workers from his village - once a Left stronghold.

Moreover, from the hills, a large number of middle-ranking workers and leaders of the GNLF and the GJM joined TMC, including a top Gorkha Land Personnel commandant, Anup Kumar Rai.

GLP was a commando force raised by the GJM chief Bimal Gurung and the cadres largely comprised die-hard GJM workers. But apparently, the cracks have begun to appear in the demoralized cadres.

Apart from Rai, a number of GNLF and GJM leaders also decided to pick up the TMC flag at the simple ceremony this evening.Several Youth Congress leaders from North 24 Parganas and Asansol, too, joined the TMC. Roy said that workers who are joining the TMC are largely driven by the development initiative undertaken by the TMC government.

"People have started realising that no other political party has any hope left in West Bengal. The floodgates have opened for them to come and join. TMC will give all of them new responsibilities," Roy said.

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