Halishahar councillors now ditch BJP, return to Trinamool

Kolkata, July 9 (IANS) About six weeks after they crossed over to the BJP, the Chairman and several councillors of the Halisahar municipality in North 24 Parganas district returned to the state's ruling Trinamool Congress on Tuesday.

Municipal Affairs and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim announced the civic representatives' return to the party at a media meet, and accused the BJP of having forced them to join its fold in May.

"They were forcibly taken to Delhi. But they have displayed enough guts to come out of the clutches of the BJP. Love for Trinamool supremo (and West Bengal Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee has prompted them to come back to their old party," said Hakim in the presence of Halisahar municipality Chairman Angshuman Roy.

The municipality board had come under BJP rule after large-scale defections of councillors from Trinamool ranks on May 28.

Hakim alleged that the councillors were forced to change their political loyalties by pointing a revolver to their head and ransacking their residences.

However, BJP's Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh said the councillors were made to rejoin Trinamool under coercion and threats.

"They were issued threats that they would be implicated in corruption cases and put in jail," said Singh.

--IANS

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u PanthBureau Chief, IANS, Kolkata.

Indo-Asian News Service

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