In a boost for the Trinamool Congress, senior all India Forward Bloc leader and sitting West Bengal lawmaker Udayan Guha on Thursday joined the state's ruling party.
"Udayan Guha has joined Trinamool today (on Thursday). We have inducted him as a secretary of the party," said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool supremo, at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, with Guha by her side.
Guha, who represents Dinhata in Cooch Behar district, had on Wednesday sent an SMS to his party bigwigs announcing his decision to quit the party. Describing Guha as a "very good organiser and a good worker", Banerjee said: "We heartily welcome him in Trinamool."
She announced that Guha will contest from Dinhata in the state assembly polls next year.
"In the coming days we will utilise his services in various ways, both in north Bengal and south Bengal," said Banerjee, who had returned from New Delhi. Regarded as the face of the Forward Bloc in north Bengal, Guha had fallen out with the party leadership for some time.
A familiar face in television debates, he had made his intentions clear over the past few days by profusely praising Banerjee - a leader whom he had vehemently criticised for years.
Guha had also time and again sought change in the Left Front leadership, including in the higher echelons of its spearhead Communist Party of India-Marxist. <g data-gr-id="23">Poltiical</g> observers feel his entry into the Trinamool fold would bolster the party's prospects in north Bengal, particularly in Cooch Behar.