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HindustanTimes Mon,20 Oct 2014

Congress opens door to TMC Dissidents

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 27, 2013
First Published: 11:10 IST(27/9/2013) | Last Updated: 11:14 IST(27/9/2013)

In a clear indication that Congress is ready to accept dissidents in Trinamool Congress, party observer for Bengal Shakeel Ahmed Khan said on Thursday that those willing to join the party are welcome.

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However, Khan made it clear that the Congress would not go for an alliance with Trinamool and would contest all 42 Lok Sabha seats alone.

“Those who want to join Congress are welcome. We are closely tracking the day-to-day movements and utterances of dissidents in the Trinamool Congress,” Khan said at state party headquarters Bidhan Bhavan on Thursday.

“We will however not go for any alliance with Trinamool in the next Lok Sabha polls. We will go it alone in all 42 seats. We have already begun preparations to contest all seats on our own steam,” Khan said.

He said the party supporters have already been directed to mobilise campaign across the state over a host of issues after the Pujas.

He said the party would highlight such issues as violence, especially against women and the deteriorating law and order scene in the state in a series of agitations planned after the festivities.

Speaking at a blood donation event organised recently by rebel Trinamool MP Somen Mitra and wife Sikha Mitra, also a fellow party MLA, sitting MPs Tapas Pal, Shatabdi Roy and Kunal Ghosh openly voiced dissidence against the top Trinamool leadership and chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

The open dare drew a sharp response from party top bosses, with showcause notices dispatched to the dissident voices.

The Congress has since sent feelers to the rebels, offering them plum posts in the party. The party is reportedly keen to lure the Trinamool dissidents before the Lok Sabha polls.


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