Old Malda Cong civic 6 defect to Trinamul

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  • Published 11.11.13

Calcutta, Nov 10: All six Congress councillors of the Left Front run Old Malda municipality today joined Trinamul, the switch coming barely three days after the Congress had staved off an alleged attempt by the state’s ruling party to woo its 19 councillors in the Katwa civic board in Burdwan.

In the 18-member Old Malda civic board, the Left is at the helm with 12 councillors and the Congress was in the Opposition with six members.

All the six, including leader of Opposition Bibhuti Bhusan Ghosh, arrived in Topsia at the Trinamul Bhavan here from Malda to join Trinamul in the presence of Trinamul all-India general secretary Mukul Roy.

“Six Congress councillors from Old Malda joined us today to strengthen the organisation in Malda,” Roy announced after admitting the Congress councillors.

“Those who have joined us today would sit in the Opposition in the Old Malda civic board but in the coming days we shall take control,” he said.

However, the CPM chairman of the civic board, Biswanath Sukul, ruled out defection from his party.

“All our 12 councillors, including two from Forward Bloc, have resolved to stave off any attempts by Trinamul to woo them. So, it is Roy’s day dream about gaining control of the civic board”.

Asked why he joined Trinamul, knowing well that their switch would not help them gain control of the civic board, Ghosh, the leader of Opposition, said: “Being a part of the ruling party would give them more strength to put pressure on the Left at the helm of the civic board”.

Ghosh, 56, claimed that he was associated with the Congress for over 30 years since 1982.

State Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya termed party councillors’ defection “unfortunate” but said the development would not weaken the party.

“Trinamul is on a one-point agenda to marginalise the Congress by wooing our councillors but this will not weaken the party,” he said.

The Congress vice-chairman of the Katwa civic board, Arun Ram, had alone defected to the ruling party. Trinamul leaders had said that the party had tried to woo the other 18 Congress councillors in Katwa but had been unsuccessful.

Trinamul has so far taken control of the six Congress-run civic boards across Bengal by wooing Congress councillors into the party fold.

Former RJD MLA Mohammed Sohrab, who had won the Burrabazar Assembly seat in 2006 with backing from the then ruling Left Front, switched to Trinamul today.

He had initially approached the Congress but the party did not entertain him on the ground that his entry would antagonise Burrabazar district chief Santosh Pathak.