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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 09 September: SERVING a severe blow to the Congress in its traditional stronghold, Trinamool has gained majority in the Murshidabad zila parishad by engineering a defection in the opposition parties.

That’s not all! State transport minister and Trinamool observer for Murshidabad, Suvendu Adhikari, has announced that several councillors of the Congress-ruled Behrampore Municipality would join them on 18 September.

Murshidabad has always been a Congress stronghold and home to the party’s state unit president and Lok Sabha MP Adhir Ranjan Choudhury. Even the Left could not erode Congress’ base in the district during its 34 years rule in the state, but Trinamool is achieving this by encouraging defection.

Seven Murshidabad zila parishad members of the Congress, two of the CPI-M, and one of the RSP switched over to the Trinamool this afternoon at the ruling party’s head office in Kolkata. Suvendu Adhikari personally inducted them into the party.

Apart from this, 14 opposition members of the Bharatpur-I panchayat samiti too have switched over to the Trinamool today positioning the party is the majority.

“Murshidabad zila parishad has 70 seats, out of which one is vacant. The magic number for majority is 35. With the 10 Congress-Left members joining today, our strength has gone up to 39. We shall move a no-confidence motion against the Congress ruled board on the next day of Id, that is, on 14 September,” Adhikari told reporters.

In the 2013 panchayat election, Trinamool had won only one zila parishad seat in Murshidabad.

But over time its number rose to 29 as elected members from other parties defected to Trinamool: the most recent one being on 12 August when eight Congress and two Left members had joined. The defection by 10 more today has taken Trinamool number further up to 39 in the 70 member zila parishad.

The cause for more worry for the Congress is, Suvendu Adhikari today claimed that several councillors of the Congress-ruled Behrampore Municipality would join them next week. “I will be holding a public meeting in Behrampore on 18 September, where several opposition councillors would join our party. The number could be 05 to 10,” he said, reiterating the claim that Congress would be wiped out from Murshidabad.