In a severe jolt to Congress, the party today lost two of its MLAs and several councillors to TMC, which took effective control of two Congress-controlled municipalities.
Congress MLA of Islampur in North Dinajpur district Kanailal Agarwal and Kaliaganj MLA in Nadia district Hasanuzzaman Sk today joined TMC in presence of senior TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee.
With the joining of these two MLAs, the tally of the Congress MLAs in state assembly now stands at 39.
In the last two months, three Congress MLAs including former PCC president and senior MLA Manas Bhunia had switched over to TMC.
The TMC today also served a blow to state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury in his backyard by taking over Murshidabad Municipality with eleven Congress councillors switching over to TMC.
The TMC which had only one councillor in the 15-member Murshidabad municipality, now has 12 councillors.
In Murshidabad district, Congress now controls two municipalities whereas TMC has five municipalities in its fold.
The TMC also took over Islampur municipality in Uttar Dinajpur district, with its chairman and MLA Kanailal Agarwal and several of its councillors joining the party.
“The Congress’ decision to align with the CPI-M during the last Assembly poll had proved to be a “political harakiri” as the rank and file of the Congress did not accept the alliance. By the end of this year there would be no sign of political presence of Congress and CPI(M) in Bengal as people have rejected this unholy alliance.
“Those who are joining TMC, want to be part of the developmental process started by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” Abhishek Banerjee told reporters.
Malda and Murshidabad are considered as strongholds of Congress, with the latter being termed as the backyard of the state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury. Recently in a blow to Congress and Left Front, the TMC took control of Malda and Jalpaiguri Zillaparishad after several of its members switched over to TMC.
Plagued by defections and infighting, the beleaguered Congress and CPI(M) are finding it difficult to keep their flock together in the face of Trinamool Congress juggernaut in West Bengal.
In the last few months since the Assembly poll results were out delivering a thumping majority to the Trinamool Congress, the party managed to take over various opposition-controlled municipalities and panchayats in the state, with councillors and panchayat members shifting to the TMC fold from either Congress or Left Front constituents.