National

Former Congress MP joins Trinamool Congress

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on July 05, 2021

Rumored to be unhappy about Congress’ future prospects in WB

After giving out feelers over the last few weeks, the late Pranab Mukherjee’s son and former Congress MP, Abhijit, joined the Trinamool Congress on Monday.

The 61-year-old Abhijit had, some two weeks back, met Trinamool’s General Secretary, Abhishek Banerjee at his office in south Kolkata; but had denied rumors of his joining.

“I am joining as a foot soldier of Didi (as Mamata Banerjee is called). And will work as she wants me to,” he said post induction by the party’s parliamentary leader, Sudip Bandopadhyay and Bengal’s Industry Minister, Partha Chatterjee.

It was being rumored that Abhijit was also not very happy about the Congress’ future prospects in West Bengal and its local leadership especially after the party failed to win a single seat in the just concluded Assembly elections – including from its once strongholds of Malda and Murshidabad – and its vote share fell to 3-odd per cent.

Political circles had been a buzz with his changed stand, a very open support of the Trinamool and a meeting with Abhishek.

Praise for Mamata Banerjee

Over the past two months Abhijit had taken to social media to praise the Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo, Mamata Banerjee, over her “development work”. In a recent tweet, he had also praised the State government’s decision to announce ‘Student Credit Cards’ with a limit of ₹10 lakh.

The former Congress MP had also supported the Chief Minister and tried to defend her government against allegations leveled by the BJP over the involvement of the party’s top brass in fake vaccination camps.

Abhijit further went on record to suggest that Mamata Banerjee contest a bypoll from Jangipur in Murshidabad, a seat his father, the late Pranab Mukherjee used to contest from at the Lok Sabha level. The seat fell vacant after one of the candidates there died ahead of the 2021 Assembly polls. Mamata Banerjee, incidentally, lost to Suvendu Adhikari in the high profile battle at Nandigram and is yet to win an election as MLA.

“I have moved from one Congress to another,” he said without criticising his former party.

Two Term MP

Abhijit is the first, and currently, the only one in the family to have joined the Trinamool. His sister, Sharmistha, continues to be with the Congress. He entered national politics in 2012, and won a bypoll, after his father vacated the Jangipur Lok Sabha seat before appointment as the President of India. In 2014, he was re-elected from Jangipur as MP, but lost the seat – coming a distant third - in 2019. Since then, he has kept a low profile.

Some observers say Abhijit might be pitched as a Trinamool MP in the Rajya Sabha with at least two seats falling vacant recently.

Published on July 05, 2021

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