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TMC gains ascendancy in Malda, Jalpaiguri ZPs

The blow comes a day before West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee kicks off her north Bengal tour on Tuesday to hold administrative meeting for three districts, viz. South Dinajpur, North Dinajpur and Malda. In the 19- member Jalpaiguri Zilla Parishad, six Left Front members on Monday joined TMC. As a result, TMC now has a total of 10 members.

Meanwhile, in Malda Zilla Parishad, eight Left Front members, along with six Congress and two Samajwadi Party members joined TMC at a function at the party’s headquarters at Trinamool Bhavan, in presence of veteran leader Mukul Roy and state transport minister Suvendu Adhikari. 

Adhikari – who is looking after Malda and Murshidabad on behalf of the party – said that theTMC tally in the Malda zilla parishad now stood at 22, and added that those who joined the party had applied for primary membership and written to Mamata Banerjee in this regard. He said that those who joined the party on Monday had sounded out TMC leaders earlier and expressed their willingness to join. They were satisfied with the work carried out by the state government in various areas. “They had neither been coerced nor given money to join the party,” said Adhikari, rubbishing the allegations made by the Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan.

Mannan had said that the way the TMC was “taking control over the zilla parishads one after the other was undemocratic and Mamata Banerjee, through various agencies like police, had threatened them and they had no other option but to join the TMC.”

Buzz over the Congress and Left zilla parishad members joining the TMC on Monday was in circulation for a few days, and two Congress leaders in Malda, Mausum Noor and AHA Khan Chowdhury, came down from Delhi and tried to persuade their leaders not to quit the party. Congress leaders in Malda had once bragged that the TMC would not be able to make any dent in the district.

Despite the landslide victory in the Assembly elections in May, TMC had failed to make an impact in Malda. Two of its ministers, Sabitri Mitra and Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury, even tasted defeat. Banerjee had pulled up Adhikari, who was looking after the district, and asked him to explain the party’s poor show. Having gained control over the zilla parishad, TMC has now finds itself on a firm footing in Malda. 

Political analysts said the situation for Congress and CPI(M) was turning from bad to worse every day because of mass exodus of their rank and file. This had caused a massive erosion in their vote bank.

If the trend continues, then both CPI(M) and Congress would struggle to field candidates in the Panchayat elections scheduled to be held in 2018. “It is interesting to note that both Congress and Left leaders were joining the TMC in defiance of their party whips,” an analyst pointed out.
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