Ex-Bengal Congress president Somen Mitra's wife returns to TMC

By PTI

KOLKATA: Sikha Mitra, the widow of former West Bengal Congress chief Somen Mitra, returned to the ruling Trinamool Congress on Sunday.

Mitra claimed that though she had resigned as a Trinamool Congress MLA in 2014, she had never officially quit the party.

“My husband was made the state Congress chief but I had taken a break from active politics. I was touched by the warmth and simplicity of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who called me up and requested me to be an active TMC worker. I decided that if I join active politics again, it has to be under her,” she told reporters.

Responding to a query why she had resigned as a TMC MLA seven years ago, Mitra said, “Differences crop up at times but those have been resolved. Mamata Banerjee had called me up after my husband’s death and I have always been on cordial terms with her.”

The BJP had nominated Mitra as a party candidate for the Chowringhee assembly seat in Kolkata in this year’s assembly elections but she had declined to contest it.

Speaking on the incident, she said, “I have always believed that the BJP is a communal party.”

TMC MP Mala Roy and Chowringhee’s party MLA Nayna Bandyopadhyay welcomed Mitra and two local Congress leaders into the party at its headquarters Trinamool Bhavan.

Reacting to the development, Congress leader in Lok Sabha and the party’s state unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “I don’t know why Sikha Mitra left the Congress to join the TMC. She was with the TMC earlier and had joined the Congress but now returned to the ruling party. It is her personal decision. We have always treated her with respect.”

Differences had surfaced between the state Congress leadership helmed by Chowdhury, and Mitra and her son Rohan after the death of Somen Mitra last year.

They were also approached by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.

Rohan Mitra, who had resigned as the state Congress general secretary in July, continues to remain in the party.