Kolkata: Delivering a big blow to the BJP, 12 of its councillors in Bhatpara municipality on Wednesday returned to the Trinamool Congress, which regained majority in the municipality.
With Bhatpara virtually in its pocket, Trinamool has now seemingly completed the process of wresting all seven municipalities where it had lost its majority to the BJP in the aftermath of the Lok Sabha polls.
After coming out with its most spectacular showing in the state earlier this year by capturing 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats, the BJP retained the momentum capturing one municipality after another as Trinamool councillors crossed over to the BJP.
Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district opened the floodgate of desertions from the Trinamool ranks to the BJP, days after it snatched the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat.
Arjun Singh, a former Trinamool MLA known for his muscle power and money power, crossed over to the BJP and pocketed the LS seat by unseating former Union Minister Dinesh Trivedi.
With TMC now regaining the majority in Bhatpara municipality, BJP has lost control over all the seven municipal bodies it had taken control of since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Trinamool leader and state urban development minister announced at a press conference that the dozen councillors have returned to their parent party.
In June, 19 Trinamool councillors had switched their allegiance to the BJP.
The BJP tally had at one time swelled to 26 in the 34-member board.
Hakim said after the "homecoming" of the 12 councillors, the Trinamool's strength in Bhatpara has soared to 21.
BJP leader Mukul Roy alleged the Trinamool forced the councillors to change sides by using its hired miscreants as also the police to intimidate them.