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Poaching game on Adhikari turf

Good news for Trinamul: More than 100 CPM leaders and workers in East Midnapore joined the ruling party on Friday.

Bad news for Trinamul: The manner of induction threatens to deepen the cracks in the East Midnapore unit of Trinamul.

Today’s defections took place under the watchful eyes of Akhil Giri, the MLA who was made the East Midnapore working president on May 30 in a move seen as efforts by the leadership to clip the wings of MPs Subhendu Adhikari and Sisir Adhikari.

Leaders close to the Adhikaris questioned whether Giri had the power to induct people from other parties without the permission of district Trinamul president Sisir.

Sources close to Sisir, who is in Delhi, said he had not been informed about the defections. Giri said he had taken the permission of the state leadership.

Giri oversaw the defections in the presence of Haldia MLA Shiuli Saha at the Tamluk office of water resources investigation minister Soumen Mahapatra. All three leaders belong to the anti-Adhikari camp, Trinamul sources said.

“If a leader or worker from any other party wants to join Trinamul, the district unit president’s approval is required. Only after the district president gives his nod can a person be handed the party flag. No permission was taken in today’s case. This is unfortunate,” said Dibakar Jana, a Trinamul zilla parishad member said to be close to the Adhikari family.

Giri refused comment when asked if he had taken Sisir’s permission, but added: “We got the state leadership’s go-ahead. The district president is out of town and could not attend the programme.”

There has been friction between the Adhikari and Giri camps since the MLA was made the East Midnapore working president. As part of the same shuffle, Subhendu was removed as the state president of the Trinamul Youth Congress. On Tuesday, MLA Sukumar Dey, a Subhendu aide, was removed as the district youth wing chief.

Haldia MLA Saha supported Giri’s move to induct the CPM leaders and workers. “If an Opposition party member from my constituency approaches me and wants to join the party, I can definitely take a call on the matter,” she said.

Among the CPM leaders who joined Trinamul today were two members of Sutahata’s Joynagar gram panchayat and members of local committees at Mahishadal, Sutahata and Haldia.