Kolkata, Apr 2 (IANS): With Trinamool Congress strongman and the party's Birbhum district president currently locked in Tihar Jail in New Delhi for his involvement in the multi-crore cattle smuggling scam in West Bengal, the state's ruling party has started witnessing an exodus of the lower-rung leaders and workers from the district.
This is happening for the first time since 2011 when the Trinamool Congress came to power in the state ousting the 34-year long Left Front rule.
On Saturday evening, around 3,000 Trinamool Congress activists led by the party's booth president in Mahidpur village, an out-and- out minority- dominated ruling party stronghold, in a public meeting announced their decision to quit Trinamool Congress and extend support towards to the Left Front- Congress alliance in the forthcoming state panchayat elections and subsequent polls thereafter,
Those who quit Trinamool Congress and pledged their support towards the opposition alliance at that meeting, organised jointly by the CPI(M) and Congress, included erstwhile Trinamool Congress booth presidents Janarul Mullick and Seikh Sahajul and their deputies like Nuruddin Mollah and Allal Mollah, among others.
Local CPI(M) leaders claimed that the meeting was significant on two counts, the first being that this is the first public meeting by any opposition force in the village in the last 12 years since May 2011, when Trinamool Congress came to power. In addition to that, the development of so many ruling party activists, including lower-rung local leaders extending support towards the alliance, was an additional bonus for the opposition Left Front-Congress alliance.
The Trinamool Congress district leadership has maintained silence over the development. However, a district leader said on condition of anonymity that the faction, which had quit the ruling party on Saturday, had always been identified as the anti-Anubrata lobby in the district.
"Their expectation was that after Mondal's arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation last year there would be a replacement in the chair of the Birbhum district. However, it had not happened as yet even after Mondal had been taken to New Delhi. So, they finally decided to sever their ties with the party and pledge for the Congress-Left Front alliance since unlike BJP they have a secular face," he said.