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30 May 2018

Tribal trade union leader joins Trinamul

TT, Jalpaiguri: Trinamul leaders in Jalpaiguri managed to get a prominent tribal trade union leader who is based on the outskirts of Jalpaiguri on board, much to the disappointment of BJP and Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad.

Raju Sahani, the joint general secretary of Parishad-based Progressive Tea Workers' Union (PTWU) was welcomed into the party by Saikat Chatterjee, Jalpaiguri district Youth Trinamul president and some other leaders at a function held at the district Youth Trinamul office in Station Road of the town.

"The chief minister has formed the tribal task force and has included some top leaders of Parishad in it. However, despite their presence, majority of the tribal population here are not getting any benefit from the task force. That is why I have decided to join Trinamul as I can work directly for peoples' development and will not have approach the Parishad leaders. Most of my supporters have also joined the party," said Raju.

A known face in tea gardens of the Sadar and Rajganj blocks in Jalpaiguri, Raju was one of the popular anti-Trinamul faces.

"Even though the Parishad supported Trinamul in the rural polls, Raju went ahead and fielded independent candidates in a number of seats. Also, in tea gardens, he never left any space for the Trinamul-backed unions to expand their bases. The gardens where he works are known to be strongholds of PTWU," said a senior trade union leader.

His defection, observers said, is a setback for both Parishad and the BJP.

Unlike the Dooars where BJP has based in some pockets, it is yet to improve its bases in the tea gardens of these two blocks (Sadar and Rajganj).

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