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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Lok Sabha polls: Three prominent leaders join Trinamool bandwagon

Gautam Mazumdar  Ranchi, March 04, 2014
First Published: 16:34 IST(4/3/2014) | Last Updated: 16:36 IST(4/3/2014)

The Trinamool Congress on Monday inducted three prominent Jharkhand leaders, making its intention clear of contesting the Lok Sabha election from the state.

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The leaders who joined Trinamool are former minister and Mandar legislator Bandhu Tirkey, Bishunpur MLA and Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited (TVNL) chairman Chamra Linda and former BJP legislator Beni Prasad Gupta. All the three joined the party in the presence of party general secretary and former railway minister Mukul Roy.

Roy also formally announced the joining of Sibu Soren’s younger brother and JMM leader Lalu Soren. Lalu had joined the party in Kolkata three days ago. The joining of Tirkey and Linda is significant in the backdrop of Trinamool’s stand of maintaining distance from both the Congress and the BJP and Mamata Banerjee’s initiative to forge a Third Front.

Both Tirkey and Linda are supporters of the Hemant Soren-led coalition government in which the Congress is also a partner.
Trinamool chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said earlier that the “Congress was in a coma and the BJP would be unable to form the government.”

Roy said, “We are keen on increasing our tally in West Bengal and bagging a few Lok Sabha seats from other states as well.”

The Trinamool will be a key player in the formation of the next government at the Centre, he added.

Interestingly, Mandar and Bishunpur assembly segments come under the reserved Lok Sabha constituency of Lohardagga (ST). The sitting MLAs are vocal about the issues of the tribals and have the capacity of attracting tribal voters.

Tirkey is being considered as the Trinamool candidate from Lohardagga in the general election while former Bokaro district JMM president Lalu is willing to contest from Dumka from where his brother Sibu Soren is likely to be the JMM candidate.

The Trinamool has been eyeing local leaders from Jharkhand who could make a difference in the coming general election. Roy himself had made several visits to Jharkhand in the recent past. The party may rope in a few more leaders shortly.

Trinamool had contested 39 assembly seats from Jharkhand in the 2009 election and bagged about 1% of the total votes polled. “The Trinamool Congress is in contact with a couple of leaders who are being ignored in their respective parties,” Jharkhand convenor for Trinamool Dilip Chatterjee said. He said the party will contest five to six Lok Sabha seats from Jharkhand.


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