TMC faces fresh spate of defections; 5 sitting MLAs, other leaders join BJP

Sonali Guha, a close associate of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee for decades, also shifts sides

TMC faces fresh spate of defections; 5 sitting MLAs, other leaders join BJP

A vendor shows kites printed with symbols of various political parties ahead of the West Bengal Assembly polls, in Kolkata. PTI File

Kolkata, March 8

The Trinamool Congress on Monday lost five more sitting MLAs and the control of the Malda Zilla Parishad to the BJP as defections continued to rock West Bengal's ruling party ahead of the Assembly polls.

Four-time MLAs Sonali Guha, a close associate of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee for decades, and 80-year-old Rabindranath Bhattacharya, a prominent face of the Singur movement, joined the saffron party after they were denied the poll ticket.

Another four-time legislator, 85-year-old Jatu Lahiri, and former footballer Dipendu Biswas, a first-time MLA, also switched sides after their names did not feature in the TMC's candidate list released on March 5.

They were handed over party flags by BJP state president Dilip Ghosh in presence of other leaders such as Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy.

One more TMC MLA, Sital Sardar, also joined the saffron party.

Hours after being replaced due to "ill health", Sarala Murmu, the TMC candidate of the Habibpur constituency in Malda district, too switched sides. There was speculation earlier that she might join the BJP as she did not get the seat she had desired.

The party replaced her with Pradeep Baskey in the morning.

A number of sitting TMC MLAs, including ministers, have joined the saffron camp in recent months.

The BJP also took control of the 38-member Malda Zilla Parishad after its 22 members changed sides.

Bengali actor Tanusree Chakraborty also joined the BJP.

Assembly elections in the state will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2. PTI

Top Stories

Can't give Rs 4 lakh compensation to Covid victims, Centre tells SC

Can't give Rs 4 lakh compensation to Covid victims, Centre tells SC

Says finances of states, Centre under strain due to reductio...

Delhi Unlock: Public parks, gardens to open from Monday; outdoor yoga activities to be allowed

Delhi Unlock: Public parks, gardens to open from Monday; outdoor yoga activities to be allowed

Prohibited activities and services, including cinemas, gyms,...

Ahead of J-K outreach, PM Modi holds high-level ministerial meeting

Ahead of J-K outreach, PM Modi holds high-level ministerial meeting

PAGD to meet on June 22 to decide on Centre's invitation; PD...

Haryana lockdown curbs relaxed; bars, restaurants to open till 10 pm

Haryana lockdown curbs relaxed; bars, restaurants to open till 10 pm

Lockdown extended till June 28 for the seventh time

Five defence officers set to face General Court Martial in DeMo scam

Five defence officers set to face General Court Martial in DeMo scam

Accused of exchanging Rs 6 lakh invalid currency

Cities

View All