High drama ensued in the West Bengal Assembly Thursday with nine Congress and three Left Front MLAs skipping the respective legislature party meetings, and Opposition parties alleging threats and horse-trading ahead of polls for five Rajya Sabha seats from state.
Two Congress MLAs — Sujapur MLA Abu Naser Khan Choudhury and Gajol MLA Sushil Roy — announced they will join the ruling Trinamool Congress Friday. Both Sujapur and Gajol Assembly seats fall in Malda district — traditionally a Congress stronghold. “
Sources in Congress blamed Choudhury’s defection on the elevation of his niece Mausam Noor, the Congress MP from Malda North constituency, as Malda district Congress chief. The post was earlier held by his younger brother Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury.
The Congress termed the defections “horse-trading”. “Such kind of horse-trading never took place in this state. It is a new culture that the Trinamool Congress has introduced. It is very unfortunate,” Manas Bhuina, Sobong MLA and former state Congress chief, said.
As nine Congress MLAs skipped the legislature party meeting, the Left Front was also worried about its flock as three MLAs — RSP’s Ananta Dev Adhikary and Dasarath Tirkey and Forward Bloc’s Sunil Mandal — skipped the meeting.
The latest developments have brightened the prospect of TMC’s fourth candidate for Rajya Sabha, Ahmed Hasan, of winning the seat comfortably.
Kiran Bedi tried to establish her credentials as a secular, pro-women candidate.