The Telegraph
Monday , July 21 , 2014
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Cong trio at Alipurduar civic body to join TMC

Alipurduar, July 20: The three remaining Congress councillors of Alipurduar municipality are set to switch to Trinamul in Calcutta tomorrow, attributing their move to the formation of the Alipurduar district by the Mamata Banerjee government.

Dipto Chatterjee, his wife Ruma and her brother Shantanu Bhowmik will join Trinamul at the party rally in Calcutta in the presence of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. With their switch, the Congress will be left with no councillor in the 20-member Left Front-run civic board.

In the elections last year, the Left bagged eight seats and six wards each went to the Congress and Trinamul. But three Congress councillors later joined Trinamul, taking the latter’s tally to nine.

“When three Congress councillors joined Trinamul, we decided not to follow suit. But after Alipurduar had been made a new district, Mukul Roy (Trinamul All-India general secretary) contacted me and asked me to join his party to participate in the development work of the municipality. That is why we decided to join Trinamul. I don’t have any complaint against any Congress leader. We are in Calcutta and will join Trinamul in the presence of the chief minister tomorrow without any condition,” Dipto Chatterjee told Metro over the phone from Calcutta.

According to observers, even though Trinamul will have 12 councillors in Alipurduar after the trio’s switch, the party will find it difficult to form the board. “This is because at least four councillors aspire for the post of the chairman, Dipto being one of them. If the majority has to be proved through secret ballots, the Left might be able to retain power,” said an observer.

Biswaranjan Sarkar, the Alipurduar district Congress president, said he didn’t want to blame Dipto for the defection as the latter was under pressure because of “false” corruption case slapped on him by the Trinamul government.