Murshidabad district Congress to approach Guinness Book to enlist ‘fastest defection’
It took Asadul Islam, who won on a Congress ticket, less than a minute after he was informed of his victory to walk to the waiting mediamen and announce his decision to join TMC.kolkata Updated: May 18, 2017 18:55 IST
Around 10 am on Wednesday, Asadul Islam, Congress candidate in Domkal municipality, was told that he won the election from ward 9. It took him less than a minute to emerge from the counting hall Domkal Girls’ High School and declare in front of the waiting mediamen that he is joining Trinamool Congress. Murshidabad Congress leaders have decided to return the embarrassment by writing to the Guinness Book of World Records authorities to enlist Islam for the ‘fastest political defection’ in history.
“We are getting the letter drafted by a lawyer. We will send it to the Guinness Book authorities in a day or two,” Murshidabad district Congress president Abu Taher Khan told HT.
Domkal was one of the seven municipalities where elections were held on May 14. The defection of Asadul Islam and CPI(M)’s Rafikul Islam (ward 20) was widely criticised in Bengal as the harbinger of an undesirable political trend in the state.
But the man at the centre of the controversy appeared unfazed.
“I knew I will win and I was in touch with the TMC leaders. I switched camps for the sake of development. I couldn’t fulfill the expectations of the residents of my ward as a Congressman,” said Islam, 46, who is a businessman by profession and a father of two. He was always a Congress worker but became a CPI(M) supporter for a brief period in 1996.
“Adhir Chowdhury (state Congress president) and his men have gone mad. Therefore, they are taking these steps. They have no supporter in this district,” Murshidabad TMC spokesperson Ashok Das said.
In Domkal that went to its first civic polls, TMC candidates won 18 wards in the 21-ward municipality. CPI(M) leaders, however, have no plans like district Congress leaders.
“It took me barely a minute to walk out of the counting hall and meet the journalists. I gave them the news of my victory and informed them of my decision to join TMC. Now I will work under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee and Soumik Hossain,” he added.
“We don’t know whether there is provision in Guinness Book for fastest political defection. But we have decided to approach the authorities as it seems attractive,” said Abu Taher Khan.
“I haven’t heard of anyone defecting immediately after his victory in an election. The councilor breached the trust of all who voted for him. If his name is included in the Guinness Book, the world will come to know of his misdeed,” remarked West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Jayanta Das.
“The councillor announced his decision to join TMC even before he was handed over his winning certificate by the returning officer,” said Das.
Asadul Islam, a resident of Velurchak village, bagged 1,660 votes defeating his nearest candidate from TMC, Tajimuddin Khan, who bagged 1,152 votes. BJP candidate Bibek Mondal got only 35 votes and three independent candidates bagged 58 votes between them.
“In the past one year TMC has ‘purchased’ most of the Congress and Left Front members of the rural and civic bodies in Murshidabad to get the control of those bodies. Asadul Islam is the latest addition to the list,” remarked Abu Taher Khan, who is also the Congress MLA from Nawda.
Sources said the lone Congress councillor of Domkal, Bilal Sheikh (ward 21) is likely to join TMC soon. If it happens there will be no opposition in the municipality.