Trinamool Congress on Monday created a major dent in Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury’s Murshidabad, after it took control of Azimgunj-Jiagunj municipality, with 11 Councillors joining the party in the afternoon.
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee and state Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari, who is in charge of Murshidabad, were present at the function where party flags were given to the new entrants.
Earlier, on July 23, Jangipur municipality came under the party’s control. Of the seven municipalities in Murshidabad, four are controlled by the Congress and three by the TMC; the Left Front does not have any municipality under its control.
Two MLAs from Congress and CPI(M), Tusharkanti Bhattacharya and Dipali Saha, joined the TMC on July 21. Azimgunj-Jiagunj municipality has 17 wards under its jurisdiction. Of these, 13 were under the Left Front and four under the Congress. Of the 11 Councillors who joined TMC on Monday, three belonged to CPI(M), two to Forward Bloc and six were Left Front-backed Independent candidates.
Shankar Mondol, chairman of the municipality, said he along with his party colleagues had joined TMC to ensure speedy development of the area.
“We know that all round development will take place in the area and many long-standing demands of the people will be met.”
Chowdhury, president of the Pradesh Congress Committee, alleged the Councillors were given money by TMC and forced to join the party’s fold. He added that throughout the state municipalities led by Opposition parties were not given funds.
The funds to clear the salaries of the employees are given, but no money is given to carryout development work, Chowdhury claimed. “Trinamool Congress is playing a dirty game and is planning to establish its control over all the Opposition-controlled civic bodies,” he said.
He, however, did not say anything on how Congress has taken steps to stop the erosion of his party’s support base in Murshidabad.
TMC bagged four seats in the district in the Assembly election. In some seats, the party’s nominees lost due to infighting. Because of poor performance by the Opposition, there is massive erosion of party’s vote bank in the district.
A veteran Congress leader, on condition of anonymity said that Kandi and Baharampur would also be taken over by TMC in due course of time.
TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee appointed Adhikari as the leader to look after Murshidabad. Both Congress and CPI(M) had failed to stop the erosion of their support base.
Brushing aside Chowdhury’s allegation that TMC was buying Opposition councilors, Adhikari said: “Chowdhury said this to cover up his failure to give proper leadership in the district.”