Humayun Kabir, the Trinamool Congress minister who was defeated in the recent assembly bypoll, on Friday claimed he had been asked by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to continue as minister.
"I met the CM on Friday. She has asked me to continue as minister. I will attend office from today," Kabir told reporters at the state secretariat.
However, no comment was available in this regard from the chief minister.
Kabir, who quit the Congress to join Trinamool Congress and became minister of state for animal resources development sometime back, lost from Rejinagar seat in Murshidabad district in the February 23 bypoll.
According to rule, such a candidate must win an assembly by-poll within six months or resign. Kabir became a minister on November 21 and still has some time left before submitting his resignation.
Rejinagar in Murshidabad district was a stronghold of Congress MP and Minister of State for Railways Adhir Chowdhury, a one-time mentor of Kabir.
Kabir earlier alleged that he lost to the money power of Chowdhury. He also blamed non-cooperation by Trinamool Congress district unit for his defeat, but the charge was denied by Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy.
According to the results declared on Thursday, Congress candidate Rabiul Alam Choudhury won from Rejinagar defeating his nearest CPI(M) rival Sirajul Islam Mandal by 11,722 votes.
Kabir came third bagging only 40,000 votes from the seat from where he had won in 2011 as a Congress candidate.