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Two Cong MLAs to quit on Tuesday

Calcutta, Nov. 16: Two Congress MLAs from Murshidabad and Malda will resign on Tuesday to join Trinamul in the first such defection since the Mamata Banerjee government took over.

Krishnendu Chowdhury from Englishbazar in Malda and Humayun Kabir from Rejinagar in Murshidabad will submit their resignations to Speaker Biman Banerjee a day before the cabinet shuffle on November 21.

“We will resign from the Congress Legislature Party on Tuesday to join the Trinamul Congress. We will be inducted the next day,” Chowdhury today said over phone from Malda.

He claimed Mamata had promised him a cabinet minister berth last month.

The Rejinagar MLA said he had been assured of a berth in the rank of a junior minister when he met the chief minister on November 12.

Speaker Banerjee said he would accept the resignations provided the legislators gave “me in writing”.

The two defections would reduce the strength of the Congress to 39 in the 294-member House.

A Trinamul general secretary said the two Congress legislators would be inducted into the cabinet on Wednesday along with “at least four Trinamul legislators”.State Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya branded the two party MLAs “traitors”. “We can’t prevent them from defecting. But people would give a fitting reply to these traitors in the bypoll they will have to face in the next six months,” he said.

The two MLAs will have to be re-elected within six months from the date of their resignations.