BJP Takes Over Darjeeling Local Body After 17 Councillors Switch Sides


The BJP will organise a big demonstration in Darjeeling, party leader Mukul Roy said (File)


The BJP on Saturday gained control of Darjeeling’s municipal body after seventeen Gorkha Janmukti Morcha councillors switched over to the party, giving it a majority in the 32-strong assembly. The mass exodus took place weeks after several Trinamool legislators and Kolkata councillors joined the BJP.

This is the second municipality in West Bengal in a week that came under the BJP’s direct control. In Bhatpara municipality, the BJP bagged 26 votes in the civic body of 34 members, marking the passing of control from the state’s ruling party Trinamool Congress to the BJP.

The BJP will organise a big demonstration in the city in the coming days, BJP leader Mukul Roy has said.

Last month, a huge contingent of leaders, most of them from Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, joined the BJP. The leaders who switched over included three legislators — Trinamool’s Subhrangshu Roy, the son of Mukul Roy, Tusharkanti Bhattacharya and CPM’s Debendra Nath Roy. The rest were 16 municipal councillors from the Trinamool Congress – crucial for grassroot influence.

The Trinamool had reacted to the exodus, saying its leaders were forced into the BJP on gunpoint.

Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, in charge of West Bengal during the Lok Sabha election, had said that the joining of the leaders of other parties in the BJP would take place in seven phases.

“Like the elections were held in seven phases in West Bengal, joining the BJP would also happen in seven phases. Today was just the first phase,” he had said.

The BJP, which had won only two seats in 2014 general elections, pulled off a stellar performance in West Bengal last month, winning 18 out of the 42 seats.

With inputs from PTI

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