November 22, 2013
Trinamool gains Asansol, Pujali and Uluberia municipalities
Trinamool Congress received a shot in the arm with 21 opposition councillors joining it, thus giving the ruling party a majority in three civic bodies.
With this, the civic bodies of Asansol, Uluberia (Howrah) and Pujali (South 24-Parganas) came under the control of the ruling party.
The Congress, naturally, was the worst affected due to the defections and with party councillors switching over to the Trinamool on a regular basis, it has very few municipalities to call its own.
More recently, Congress councillors switched over to the Trinamool en masse in its strongholds of Krishnanagar and Coopers Camp in Nadia. Congress councillors also defected to the ruling party in Sainthia in West Midnapore and Cooch Behar, thus giving the Trinamool control of the municipality and leaving the Congress furious. Congress members also defected to the ruling party in Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad.
In Asansol, three wards are set to go for bypolls on Friday. But with seven Congress councillors joining the Trinamool, the ruling party has 26 seats out of 50, a clear majority already.
Among those who switched over to the Trinamool on Thursday was deputy mayor of the corporation Amarnath Banerjee.
The Trinamool previously had 19 councillors, Congress 12 and Left Front 16 in the Asansol corporation.
The board was run by the Trinamool-Congress combine. With the alliance between the Trinamool and Congress breaking up, the board was staring at a hung verdict.
In Pujali municipality, which was controlled by the Congress, all party councillors, along with the lone CPI(M) councillor joined the Trinamool. The Congress had nine seats out of 15, the Trinamool five and CPI(M) one previously. But with all Congress and CPI(M) councillors joining the Trinamool, the opposition has virtually become nil in the board.
Uluberia municipality, too, provided a hung verdict after the Trinamool-Congress breakup. The board was jointly run by the Trinamool with 11 councillors and Congress with four councillors. The Left had 14 councillors. On Friday, all four Congress councillors joined the Trinamool, thus giving it a majority in the civic body.