Congress lost control over the Saithia municipality in Birbhum district after 15 years with the chairman of the municipality along with nine other party councillors joining the Trinamool Congress Monday.
“Under the leadership of Biplab Dutta, 10 Congress councillors including municipality chairman, Birendra Kumar Parekh, one councillor each from CPI(M), BJP and Forward Bloc also joined the TMC, enabling the party to take control of the municipal board,” said TMC general secretary Mukul Roy.
Of the 16 seats in the Saithia municipality, the Congress had 12, while CPI(M), Forward Bloc, TMC and the BJP had one councillor each.
Attributing the success to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s development policies and industrial development schemes, Roy said those who have joined the TMC were attracted by the way the CM handled the Gorkhaland and Junglemahal issues.
The latest development comes less than a fortnight after 15 Congress members of the 24-member Krishnagar Municipal joined the TMC.
The ruling party would now target Berhampore Municipality, another Congress stronghold, led by state rail minister Adhir Chowdhury, who said the TMC had arm twisted Congress workers into defection. He said Behrampore was insulated from such strategies.
“TMC resorts to all sorts of unfair means to achieve their goal. They entice, intimidate and coerce Congress workers to shift to TMC, but Behrampore is a different place. Let them try those tactics here and they will face the music,” Chowdhury said.
Meanwhile, the district unit of the Congress said they were expecting such a move from their councillors.
“We knew they would desert the party, therefore, we had been preparing for a reorganistaion,” said Pradeep Bhattacharya, president, West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee.