Subrata Mukherjee, the working president of the West Bengal state Congress unit, on Wednesday formally joined the Trinamool Congress, accusing his former party of being hand-in-glove with the state's ruling communists.
In a joint media meet, Mukherjee and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee alleged that the Congress had hatched a conspiracy to help the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front government in the coming civic polls.
Mukherjee was named as the party's senior vice president and campaign committee chief for the civic polls.
Announcing his resignation from all posts as also the primary membership of the Congress, Mukherjee said the adjustment talks were allowed to collapse at the instigation of the CPI-M.
"I tried to make the Congress strong. But it was a reality check for me when I saw that the alliance was not formed deliberately. There was a deep conspiracy aided by the CPI-M."
"I want to fight the CPI-M. I can be only with a party where my fight will be strong. The alliance was a demand of the people to rid the state of the CPI-M atrocities," the former city mayor said.
He alleged that the state Congress leadership did not pay any heed to the voice of the people.
"The Left Front cannot be rooted out by fighting from the state Congress platform. So I have taken the ultimate decision," said Mukherjee.
Welcoming Mukherjee into the party fold, Banerjee said he would be given important assignments.
"He has a taken the decision when the state is at the political crossroads. The Congress did not obey the alliance dharma," she said.
"But that's not a problem. There will be a grand alliance of the people to defeat the CPI-M."
Attacking the Congress, Banerjee said whoever tries to bail out the CPI-M would lose acceptability among the people.
"It is a people's war against the CPI-M. In this freedom struggle whoever tries to help the CPI-M, whether it is the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party, the conspiracy will not succeed."
This is the second time that Mukherjee has left the Congress to join the Trinamool. In 1999, he joined hands with Banerjee, who made him city mayor a year later. However, ahead of the civic polls in 2005, Mukherjee quit Trinamool following differences with the party chief and returned to the Congress.
Political observers feel Mukherjee's decision to get back to the Trinamool is prompted by a need to ensure his political survival as his base revolves around Kolkata, where Banerjee's outfit is the principal anti-CPI-M force.