M leaders in Siliguri continue to defect to the Trinamul Congress, with a veteran Left leader and former councillor of Ward 44, Pritikana Biswas, and some other party workers, including a former CPIM leader and sports organiser Ujjwal Das, along with a BJP activist, joining the ruling party today.

Eying the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) elections that are due, the TMC has been accused of employing “poaching tactics” to have former ward councillors defect to the party after registering a victory in the Assembly elections.

Two former Left councillors and a former Congress councillor have already joined the TMC camp last month.

“I want to strengthen the hands of the Trinamul Congress for its fight against communal and divisive forces like the BJP, which is demanding a Union Territory by splitting Bengal. At the same time, I want better development of Siliguri,” Ms Biswas said.

According to senior TMC leader and the chairperson of the board of administrators (BoA) of the SMC Gautam Deb, they will utilize the experience of Ms Biswas, especially her work in the slums. The CPI-M, on the other hand, condemned the “unethical practice” of the ruling party.

The party has terminated both Ms Biswas and Mr Das.

“Despite registering a resounding victory, the Trinamul Congress is engineering such defections. Like other areas where the civic body elections are due, the state government set up the BoA to combat the Covid-19 situation, and it appears that it has given more priority to poach activists and leaders of other political parties.

We strongly condemn the unethical practice and misuse of power. It is a dangerous trend to democracy,” said Darjeeling district CPI-M secretary Jibesh Sarkar.