Marcus Dam

KOLKATA: An MP of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) joined the Trinamool Congress here on Thursday.

Abu Ayesh Mondal, three-time MLA and MP from Katwa in Burdwan district of West Bengal, was admitted in the Trinamool Congress by its chief Mamata Banerjee and made a vice-president of the party’s State committee. The development came hours after he was “summarily expelled” from the CPI(M) on charges of “anti-party activity.”

‘Anti-party campaign’

“He had been engaging in anti-party activity, had secret links with the Opposition and was spreading a malicious campaign against the party,” Amal Haldar, the CPI(M)’s Burdwan district secretary, told The Hindu over the telephone.

Mr. Mondal had been denied the party ticket for the Lok Sabha polls. “Senior leaders of the party did not have the minimum courtesy to inform me of the decision and I feel betrayed,” Mr. Mondal said. He called on Ms. Banerjee later in the afternoon.

“He has not asked me for a ticket [to contest the coming Lok Sabha polls as a nominee of the Trinamool Congress]. We have not discussed the matter but if wants to talk [on the subject] we definitely will,” Ms. Banerjee said.

“We have told him to come and work with us. There are many like him who were involved in the Left movement but can no longer stay within the CPI(M) and work according to their ideology,” Ms. Banerjee said.

On seat adjustments with the Congress, she said though matters were clearly discussed at her meeting with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on February 28 when the latter had sought a few days time for a formal announcement, “it has been delayed by a few days.”

Stumbling blocks

Consensus on the issue has hit a few stumbling blocks with Ms. Banerjee having made clear her intentions of having Trinamool Congress nominees from certain seats in south Bengal that the Congress has set its sights on. The Congress also has reservations on some seats the Trinamool Congress has left for it.