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Bengal Cong MLAs loyalty affidavits a ‘voluntary exercise’

nation Updated: May 26, 2016 08:25 IST

KOLKATA: In an unprecedented move, state Congress leadership asked its newly elected MLAs to give a written undertaking that they will not switch camp, and that they will have to resign from membership of the Legislative Assembly in case of defection.

Bengal Congress president Adhir Chowdhury asked the MLAs to provide this undertaking on Rs 100 stamp papers in a meeting at the state Congress headquarters here on Tuesday. All 44 party MLAs as well as an Independent who joined the Congress were present.

But in Delhi, the party clarified that no such instructions were given by the central leadership. “It is a voluntary exercise,” chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said. “If legislators on their own submit their allegiance to the party, nothing more needs to be read into it.” Chowdhury, who is said to have been summoned by the central leadership, justified the action. “The legislators themselves decided to do it. Perhaps, they want to spoil PM Narendra Modi and the BJ P’s dream of having a Congress mukt Bharat,” he said. (With inputs from Delhi)

First Published: May 26, 2016 08:25 IST