Two-time Communist Party of India (Marxist) legislator Abdul Razzak Mandal on Thursday became the latest Opposition MLA to join the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.
Mandal – who was voted to the Assembly from Jalangi in Murshidabad district in 2011 and 2016 – is the 40th Opposition MLA to join the Trinamool Congress since it came to power in May 2011, the Hindustan Times reported. Soon after he joined the Trinamool Congress, he was made chairman of the party’s constituency area committee.
“Razzak saheb has expressed his desire to attend Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s rally in Kolkata on January 19,” said West Bengal Transport Minister Subhendu Adhikari. “Trinamool’s strength will rise in the district with Razzak saheb’s entry. He has vowed to give us a lead of more than 50,000 votes to the Trinamool candidate in the Lok Sabha election from Jalangi.”
The CPI(M) said that Mandal had been expelled from the party on Wednesday evening. “Razzak defected for personal gain, not for the interest of the people,” said CPI(M)’s district secretary Mriganka Bhattacharya.
Of the 22 seats in Murshidabad, the Trinamool had won only four seats in 2016. Subsequently, six Congress MLAs shifted loyalties to the ruling party.