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Malda: ONE more Congress MLA in Bengal today defected to the ruling Trinamool. The latest one to change jersey is Goutam Das, the MLA from Gangarampur Assembly constituency in South Dinajpur district.

Das had won the 2016 Assembly polls on Congress ticket with the support of the Left and had defeated Trinamool candidate by over 10,000 votes.

Today afternoon, the 44-year-old MLA formally joined the Trinamool at the party’s district office at Balurghat. Trinamool district president Biplab Mitra handed him a Trinamool flag marking his entry into Bengal’s ruling party.

Das refused to comment on his party switch over. Mitra said, realising that there is no alternative to Mamata Banerjee for all-round development of West Bengal and Gangarampur, Das approached the party leadership expressing his desire to join Trinamool. Mamata Banerjee gave her consent for this.

The desertion will further weaken the Congress, which is already battling for existence in Bengal. The blow also comes ahead of the Panchayat polls that are scheduled for May.

Das is the ninth Congress MLA to have joined Trinamool since 2016.