Kolkata, July 21(IANS): Giving a jolt to the opposition parties in West Bengal, three Congress legislators and one of the CPI-M Monday joined the ruling Trinamool Congress in presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The four legislators crossed over to the Trinamool at a mega rally organised by the party 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).
Communist Party of India-Marxist lawmaker Chaya Doui, 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.
Those who have some idealism, believe in value based politics, and want to work, the right place for them is Trinamool Congress. Because it is the party of the people, she said.
Earlier, during her speech, Banerjee, also the Trinamool supremo, exhorted Left Front members to join her party.
With all respect, I say, those who believe in leftist principles, values, join Trinamool, work for the people. Don’t sell yourself to the lure of money to anyone else, said Banerjee, who announced that her party has initiated a year-long membership drive Monday.
Since the Lok Sabha elections, a sizeable number of Left Front, Congress and even Trinamool workers have joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is trying to emerge as the principal opposition to the Trinamool in the state.