New Delhi:Congress on Monday received a big jolt in its stronghold Malda as the party lost control of the zilla parishad with 14 members belonging to Congress and the Left defecting to Trinamool Congress.
Today’s development is significant as TMC drew a blank in Malda in the last Assembly poll, held only about three months ago. The defection drew a sharp reaction from CPI(M) and the Left, which accused the TMC of trying to establish a one-party rule in the state and trying to distort the basics of Indian democracy and Constitution. State Transport minister and TMC’s in-charge of Malda district Suvendu Adhikari told reporters that in the 38-member Malda zilla parishad, eight Left and six Congress members, including ZP sabhadhipati Sarala Murmu, joined the party during the day, while two Samajwadi Party members extended support.
The TMC has six members in the present zilla parishad. Dipali Biswas, who won on CPI(M) ticket in the Assembly poll, and a zilla parishad member had joined TMC last month. Adhikari said that those who joined TMC did not support the “unethical alliance” between Congress and Left during the last Assembly election.
“They have also been inspired by the development works undertaken by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” he said. Commenting on the development, Leader of opposition and state Congress leader Abdul Mannan told PTI: “The TMC is trying to establish a one party rule in the state and that is why they are constantly poaching on opposition MLAs and councillors and elected members.
“They want to wipe off every sign of opposition from the state. They are afraid of the opposition and that is why even after winning so many seats, they have to poach on opposition party leaders and workers,” he said. CPI(M) politburo member Mohammed Salim said TMC is trying to distort the basics of democracy and constitution of our country.
“They are trying to distort the basics of Indian democracy
and Constitution of our country. They don’t have an iota of respect for the basics of Indian democracy. That is why even after drawing blank in the assembly elections in Malda district they have the audacity to intimidate and poach on public representatives of the opposition parties,” Salim said.
Adhikari had earlier claimed that within the next few months his party would take control of Murshidabad and Malda zilla parishads.
“The Congress will politically cease to exist in days to come in the state. The party will virtually turn into a signboard in days to come,” a senior TMC leader said. In neighbouring Murshidabad, another Congress stronghold, the party faced a serious challenge to defend its zilla parishad as eight of its members, one of CPI(M) and another from AIFB had recently joined TMC taking the number of TMC zilla parishad members to 29 in the 70-member council.