Somen Mitra's wife Sikha returns to TMC
Kolkata: Sikha Mitra, the widow of former West Bengal Congress chief Somen Mitra, joined Trinamool Congress on Sunday afternoon.
Mala Roy, Trinamool Congress MP and party MLA Nayana Bandyopadhyay, handed over the party flag to Mitra at a function at the TMC office at Chowringhee and welcomed her to the party.
Mitra became a TMC MLA in 2011 and resigned in 2014. After joining TMC Mitra said: "It is a home-coming for me. I had never left the party. Though in the past six years my distance with TMC increased, the party did not take any disciplinary action against me."
Mitra claimed that though she had resigned as a Trinamool Congress MLA, she had never officially quit the party. "My husband was made the state Congress chief but I had taken a break from active politics. I was touched by the warmth and simplicity of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who called me up and requested me to be an active TMC worker. I decided that if I join active politics again, it has to be under her," she told reporters.
She said after coming to power for the third consecutive time Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee had called her and requested her to join Banga Janani Bahini. It was learnt that she would be given an important post in the wing. On asked if her son Rohan would join TMC, she said: "It is his decision. We do not force anything."
The BJP had announced her name as a candidate from the Chowringhee Assembly seat. Within half an hour after the announcement Mitra said her name had been announced without her consent.
After joining, she said: "BJP is a communal party. It is true that it has come to power by the people's mandate. It will be dangerous for India if this party is allowed to continue."
Mamata Banerjee has a long association with the Mitras. Somen Mitra became a TMC MP from Diamond Harbour in 2009. He resigned in 2014. Banerjee used to enquire about his health when Mitra was hospitalised in July 2020 and died some days later.
Reacting to the development, Congress state unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "I don't know why Sikha Mitra left the Congress and joined the Trinamool. She was with the TMC earlier and had joined the Congress but now returned to the ruling party. It is her personal decision. We have always treated her with respect."
Differences had surfaced between the state Congress leadership helmed by Chowdhury, and Mitra and her son Rohan after the death of Somen Mitra last year.
Rohan Mitra, who had resigned as the state Congress general secretary in July, continues to remain in the party.