Bengal unit of the Congress has offered shelter to the three rebel MPs of the Trinamool Congress a day after they criticised top leaders of the party – chief minister Mamata Banerjee and general secretary Mukul Roy.
The state Congress said, “The TMC has been trying to erode our support base for years, we have got an opportunity now to take revenge,” but the TMC accused the Congress of trying to weaken the TMC’ 19-member team in the Lok Sabha.
It said, “These offers typically originate from New Delhi.”
On Friday, Lok Sabha members Satabdi Roy and Tapas Pal and Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh staged the show of defiance at a function organised by another TMC MP Somen Mitra and his MLA wife Shikha Mitra.
Since the Mitras have a running feud with the party boss, attending the function was the first offence the trio had committed. Roy had made it clear that they would be served with show-cause notices and would not be spared.
State Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya told HT: “Our doors are open. Anyone can join the Congress. But the persons concerned have to stick their stand. The process can begin only then.”
The first instance of open defiance by a TMC MP happened in 2011 -- the year the party swept into power in Bengal -- by singer-composer Kabir Suman, following a tiff with Kolkata mayor Shobhan Chatterjee over deployment of MPLAD funds.