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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Blow for BJP in Suvendu Adhikari's stronghold as TMC bags Khejuri 2 panchayat samiti in East Midnapore

In the 15-member panchayat samiti, the BJP secured the majority by winning nine seats, while Trinamul bagged the rest. The BJP was all set to form the board on Monday but Uday Sankar Maity and Bipasha Das had deserted the BJP and joined Trinamul

Anshuman Phadikar Tamluk(EastMidnapore) Published 17.08.23, 06:08 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

The Trinamul Congress has captured Khejuri 2 panchayat samity in East Midnapore with the support of two BJP members despite the saffron camp having a clear majority.

A Trinamul source said the top leadership considered the move a blow to the BJP especially on the home turf of the leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari.

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In the 15-member panchayat samity, the BJP secured the majority to form the board by winning nine seats, while Trinamul won the rest. The BJP was all set to form the board on Monday but things took a sudden twist on Sunday evening with Uday Sankar Maity and Bipasha Das deserting the BJP and joining Trinamul. Maity is also the BJP president in Khejuri.

On Monday, Trinamul formed the board making Maity the chief of panchayat samity as a reward to help the ruling party capture the rural body.

"The BJP members joined Trinamul as they had no faith in their leadership. By capturing the rural body in Kherjui, we sent out a clear message to the BJP that their organisation was just a big zero even in districts like East Midnapore. The development is only the beginning of the end of the BJP before 2024," said Tanmoy Ghosh, a Trinamul state general secretary who looks after the party's affairs in East Midnapore.

A section of Trinamul leaders said the development in Khejuri was very important as it was a setback to Adhikari after the BJP thwarted the ruling dispensation from forming the board in Mohammadpur gram panchayat in Nandigram.

The son-in-law of Trinamul leader Sheikh Sufiyan, the election agent of chief minister Mamata Banerjee in the 2021 Assembly polls, became chief of the gram panchayat with BJP support on Thursday.

"It was an embarrassment for the party after Sufiyan's son-in-law formed the board with the help of BJP and it was compensated by taking over Khejuri 2 panchayat samity," said a ruling party leader in Khejuri.

BJP sources said the party was on the back foot in Khejuri as there was more than one aspirant for the post of chief of the panchayat samity. The situation helped the ruling Trinamul to capture the board with the help of two BJP members.

"Maity was our party president in Khejuri and he joined Trinamul without quitting the post. The local people will give an appropriate answer to his decision to join Trinamul after winning the election on a BJP ticket," said Tapas Kumar Dolui, a BJP general secretary in Contai organisational district.

Maity, the newly elected chief of Khejuri-II panchayat samity, however, said he did not do anything wrong.

"I left the BJP and joined Trinamul before becoming chief of the panchayat samity. If it is fair in Nandigram where BJP workers formed the board by supporting Trinamul, then what is wrong with my decision here," he said.

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