The upa pradhan of Nayagram gram panchayat, along with seven other office bearers, joined TMC on Thursday morning. They said they would help carry on with the development projects taken up by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The arrival of gram panchayat members from rival parties is significant as it will help TMC to increase its mass base, which in turn will help the party win more seats in panchayat elections scheduled to be held in 2018, barely two years later.
TMC won the Nayagram Assembly constituency, a former CPI(M) bastion, in the 2011 Assembly
election, when Dulal Murmu defeated his nearest rival Bhutnath Soren of CPI(M).
But the gram panchayat remained under the control of CPI(M) and even in the 2013 panchayat election the party retained the seat.
The development work carried out by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has paid heavy dividends, resulting in massive erosion in the CPI(M) support base.
In the 2016 Assembly election, Murmu retained the seat, defeating his rivals by over 43,000 votes. The Congress candidate representing the alliance got only 14,000 votes, while BJP got 55, 140 votes
Local TMC leaders maintained that many CPI(M) and Congress supporters would join their party or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) soon and in the future, the fight would be between TMC and BJP.
CPI(M) leaders in Kolkata are apprehensive that there would be mass exodus of party workers, who
would join either TMC or BJP after the central committee meeting scheduled to be held in Delhi between June 18 and 20.
CPI(M) leaders said that like the politburo, the central committee will also issue a statement against the alliance with Congress. Once it is formally announced by the party, many rank and file who did not support the alliance will shift their allegiance. As CPI(M) is facing acute financial crunch, many full timers may also cross the floor.
CPI(M) leaders said it would be difficult to bring young members to the party’s fold because of poor mid-level leadership.Earlier, these leaders used to be in touch with the younger generation and bring them to the party’s fold.