Kolkata, July 21 IANS | 4 months ago

Giving a jolt to the Congress and the CPI-M in West Bengal, four of their legislators Monday joined the ruling Trinamool Congress in presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The four legislators - three of the Congress, and one from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) - crossed over to the Trinamool at a mega rally organised by the ruling outfit to commemorate the death of 13 youths in police firing on this day in 1993.

The Congress legislators are Asit Kumar Mal (representing Hasan in Birbhum district), Mohammad Ghulam Rabbani (Goalpokhor in North Dinajpur district) and Umapada Bauri (Para in Purulia district).

CPI-M lawmaker Chaya Dolui, who was elected from Chandrakona in West Midnapore district three years back, also pitched her lot with the Trinamool. This is the first instance of a sitting CPI-M legislator quitting her party to join the Trinamool since Banerjee became chief minister in 2011.

Welcoming the legislators, Banerjee said: "We will work shoulder to shoulder for Bengal's development."

Earlier, during her speech, Banerjee, also the Trinamool supremo, exhorted Left Front members to join her party.

However, state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said he was not "unduly perturbed" over the desertions from the party.

"What is important is the people. The Congress supporters are with us. So even if some leaders go, as the state Congress chief I am not unduly perturbed. I will only tell these turncoats, that if they have the guts, they should resign and fight elections from the same constituencies within six months," he said.

Left Front chairman and CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose said Dolui was coerced into joining Trinamool.

"She was terrorised time and again. She is a para teacher. But she was not allowed to attend school. It was an attack on her livelihood.

"She had become inactive and silent for a year. At last when she could not withstand the pressure, she decided to cross over to the Trinamool," said Bose.

The CPI-M had no immediate plans to expel her. "We are not thinking about that now. We are enquiring into the matter."

(Posted on 21-07-2014)

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