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BJP loses majority after 12 councillors rejoin TMC

BJP loses majority after 12 councillors rejoin TMC

Kolkata: It is only a matter of time for the Trinamool Congress to reestablish its control over Bhatpara Municipality in North 24-Parganas.

In a severe jolt to BJP, 12 TMC councillors who had joined the saffron party after the Lok Sabha elections in May came to their old fold at a function at the Trinamool Bhavan on Wednesday.

Firhad Hakim, minister for Urban Development and Municipal Affairs; Jyotipriya Mallick, minister for Food and president of Trinamool's North 24-Parganas unit; Tapas Roy, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs; Dinesh Trivedi, former MP from Barrackpore; MLAs Paras Dutta and Nirmal Ghosh were also present at the function.

The incident has shown that BJP MP Arjun Singh is fast losing control in Bhatpara which is supposed to be his fiefdom. Earlier, the TMC had re-established its control over six municipalities in North 24-Parganas that had gone under the BJP's control. These civic bodies are Naihati, Garulia, Kanchrapara, Halishahar, Haringhata and Bongaon.

Originally, the Trinamool Congress had 34 councillors and CPI(M) had one councillor in the 35-member Bhatpara municipality.

After the Lok Sabha election result was declared in May, 29 councillors from Trinamool Congress joined BJP. Of these, one died while another resigned and the third one is in jail in connection with a family dispute taking the total number BJP councillors to 26, Trinamool 5 and CPI(M) 1.

Of the 26 BJP councillors, 12 returned to the Trinamool Congress taking the strength to 17. As on Wednesday, out of the 32-member municipality, the TMC has 17 councillors while BJP and CPI(M) have 14 and 1 councillor respectively.

Firhad Hakim said after the Lok Sabha election was declared, Bengal's law and order was under the control of the Election Commission. BJP candidate Arjun Singh won the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat. Taking advantage of the situation, BJP unleashed a 'Reign of Terror' and forced the TMC councillors to join the party. This happened to other neighbouring municipalities also. However, as the days passed, those who had joined the BJP expressed their desire to come back. "People in the state do not support BJP's hooliganism. They have full faith in Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress. It is just a matter of time that the BJP will be ousted from Bengal."

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