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Cong 2 at rural body to join Trinamul

Nov. 22: Two Congress members of the Jalpaiguri zilla parishad have said they will join Trinamul before the election for the post of the leader of Opposition of the rural body is held on November 28.

Amarnath Jha of Nagrakata and Atul Subba of Kalchini said they will join Trinamul as the Congress leaders were not sincere. “Congress leaders of the district and even some state-level leaders have failed to meet the aspirations of thousands of workers and local leaders like us. There is lack of sincerity among them,” Subba said. “We are joining Trinamul by November 26.”

The 37-seat zilla parishad is run by the Left Front that has 27 members. Of the remaining 10 seats, Trinamul and the Congress have four each and one each is with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Trinamul was set to put up its candidate as the leader of Opposition. “We are confident of winning the post. We already have more number of votes than the Congress and two Congress members will join our party,” Chandan Bhowmik, the Jalpaiguri district Trinamul president, said.

While Trinamul has nine votes, the Congress has eight. With the duo set to join Trinamul, its tally would be 11.

“The MLAs, who are not ministers and sabhapatis of all panchayat samitis in the district have votes. Trinamul has three MLAs, including Gautam Deb, but he cannot vote as he is a minister. The party will get votes of two MLAs (Rajganj and Falakata). It has sabhapatis in three blocks (Mainaguri, Falakata and Nagrakata). This means nine votes, including those of the four zilla parishad members,” said an observer. “If the two Congress members join, there would be 11 votes.”

The Congress has four votes plus it will get votes of its three MLAs (Nagrakata, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar) and sabhapati of Kalchini panchayat samiti taking the total to eight. If Subba and Jha switch over, the number will come down to six. Sources said Trinamul was also trying to woo the Morcha and the JMM members.

“We are not ready to accept any theory,” said Mohan Bose, the Jalpaiguri district Congress president. Nurjahan Begum, sabhadhipati of the zilla parishad, said: “Trinamul is in power and it would be easier for us to get funds if a party candidate gets the seat.”