CPM, Cong to Meet New MLAs on May 19
Kolkata: Fearing poaching of the CPM and Congress MLAs by Trinamool Congress, both parties have decided to hold emergency meetings of the newly-elected MLAs immediately after the poll results are out on May 19 to frustrate the ruling party's move. “We will be meeting all our legislators, including the first-timers as early as possible after May19 to remind them how ruling Trinamool Congress had poached eleven of our MLAs. Some of these MLAs were forced to join the ruling party. but some had joined Mamata Banerjee's party on their own. But we have to be careful this time so that none of our legislators switch camp this time,” said West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) general secretary Debabrata Bose.
The CPM and the Left parties too, will hold meeting with their MLAs after May 19. CPM insiders said that since they have fielded so many new faces, it was urgent to brief and guide them how to perform in the Assembly. "Obviously, we will alert our first-time MLAs about possible move by Trinamool Congress to lure them to join their party," said a senior CPIM leader preferring anonymity.
It is Mukul Roy, Mamata's most trusted man, who had managed to rope in 11 Congress MLAs since 2012. One CPM MLA, Chhaya Dolui who won 2011 assembly polls from Chandrakona seat, had also joined the ruling party. Three Forward Bloc MLAs and two RSP MLAs had also left parties to join Trinamool Congress. "Mamata Banerjee had introduced politics of horse trading which West Bengal had never experienced. Her party had forced many of our MLAs to join Trinamoool Congress. Even though Trinamool had got absolute majority in 2011, the party went on intimidating and threatening our MLAs, elected panchayat members to quit our party to join Trinamool Congress. Such a situa- tion had never prevailed in Bengal and it is Mamata's own creation. She did this with an intention to make Bengal free from opposition parties," said CPIM central committee member Goutam Deb.
It is Trinamool Congress which had forcibly captured 600 elected gram panchayats, which were won originally by the CPIM. The ruling party had also forced 782 elected CPM gram panchayat members to quit the party to join them. The Haldia municipality was won by the CPIM in 2012. Of the total 26 seats in the civic body, the CPM had won15. But Trinamool Congress had captured the civic body in September 2013 reportedly by forcing some of the CPM councillors to support a no-confidence motion brought against the civic body by Trinamool Congress which had originally won 11 seats.