Expelled CPI-M West Bengal MP joins Trinamool (Lead)March 5th, 2009 - 7:53 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, March 5 (IANS) Hours after being expelled from West Bengal’s ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Thursday, Lok Sabha member from Katwa Abu Ayesh Mondal joined Trinamool Congress amid speculation that he may contest the coming elections as its candidate.
CPI-M’s Burdwan district secretary Amal Haldar accused Mondal Thursday morning of anti-party activities and spreading canards against the party after being denied a ticket for the polls.
“His Lok Sabha constituency is no more after the delimitation of seats. So we could not give him a ticket. But he could not stomach this and started secret communications with the Trinamool Congress,” Haldar alleged. “We held a meeting this morning (Thursday) and expelled him for anti-party activities.”
Later in the day, Mondal met Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee at her Kailighat residence in South Kolkata and was inducted into the party fold. He was also made its state committee vice–president.
Welcoming Mondal into the party, Banerjee said: “He has a clean image. And I would like to make it clear that he has not sought a ticket for the polls. He has categorically said that ideology, and not a seat, is important for him.”
However, Banerjee gave an evasive reply when asked whether the party would give him a ticket for the coming poll. “Wait for a few days. There are days to go before we declare our candidates’ list.”
Mondal claimed that he had been fighting for internal democracy in the CPI-M since 2006. “I was always kept at arm’s length in the party. I was not made a party to decisions,” he said, alleging the CPI-M never showed the courtesy of officially telling him that he is not being given the party ticket.
“They haven’t cared to let me know that I have been summarily expelled. I am a senior leader of the party. They should have told me officially that I won’t contest this time. I am definitely unhappy.”
Mondal, a former legislator from Ousgram in Burdwan district, denied the charge that he had been hobnobbing with the Trinamool Congress despite being a CPI-M MP. “I was an MLA for a long time. I am also an MP now. To do my work efficiently I have to maintain good rapport with leaders of various parties. I have never gone beyond that.”
Mondal was elected to the Lok Sabha from Katwa in a by-poll in 2006.
West Bengal will go to the polls April 30, May 7 and May 13.