West Bengal

Political U-turn

Print edition : February 07, 2014

Somen Mitra, Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member from Diamond Harbour, finally resigned from the party after threatening to do so for a long time. Referring to the Trinamool Congress government of West Bengal as a government of vengeance, he said, “We have moved away from what we had set out to do. I did not want to be associated with such politics and so I have resigned.” He announced his return to his old party, the Congress, and soon after submitting his resignation from the Lok Sabha to the Speaker, Meira Kumar, on January 15, he met Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Mitra, who was once president of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress and had won the Assembly seat from Sealdah seven times, joined the Trinamool in 2008. The Pradesh Congress was prompt to welcome him back. “He was a stalwart leader with great organisational abilities. His return will only benefit the Congress,” said Minister of State for Railways and Congress heavyweight from Murshidabad Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. “His resignation will dent the Trinamool’s credibility and retard its expansion spree. It will inject a new dynamism to the Congress’ prospects in the general elections,” Pradesh Congress general secretary Om Prakash Mishra told Frontline.

The Trinamool Congress, on the other hand, does not appear too concerned about the development. Calling Mitra a spent force in Bengal politics, Trinamool Lok Sabha member Kalyan Bandopadhyay said, “It makes no difference whether he stays or goes.”

Suhrid Sankar Chattopadhyay

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