Congress, Marxist MLA duo join Trinamool

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Kolkata, July 21 (IANS) Weakening the opposition, a legislator each from the Congress and the Communist Party of India-Marxist on Thursday joined the West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress.

Marxist legislator Dipali Biswas from Malda’s Gazole constituency, and Congress’ Tushar Kanti Bhattacharya, representing Bankura’s Bishnupur, were formally inducted into the party by Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee during the annual Martyr’s day rally observed in remembrance of 13 youths killed in police firing July 21, 1993.

Both Biswas and Bhattacharya had defeated Trinamool rivals in the recent assembly polls.

Incidentally, the Congress which emerged as the main opposition party in the Assembly elections, had made all its 44 legislators to give a “written declaration” on stamp paper that they would not leave the party.

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Beside the MLAs, 14 opposition councillors from three municipalities – North Dinajpur’s Kaliaganj, West Midnapore’s Khargapur and Purulia – also joined the Trinamool during the day.

Reacting to the development, both the CPI-M and Congress slammed the Trinamool for its “poaching tactics”.

“Despite registering such a massive win, 211 seats, why is Mamata Banerjee so apprehensive. Why Trinamool has to resort to poaching, luring away MLAs, MPs, breaking civic bodies. Why hasn’t Mamata’s apprehension disappeared despite such a win,” asked CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra.

Speaking in the same vein, Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan, of the Congress, accused the Trinamool of resorting to intimidatory tactics to poach opposition members.

“From lure of money to black mail and threats, the Trinamool is adopting all coercive means to lure opposition members,” he said.

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