Five-time Congress MLA Mainul Haque on Saturday announced his decision to join the Trinamool Congress (TMC), citing lack of development in his constituency.
Haque, an MLA from Farakka in Murshidabad district, held a public meeting in his constituency to seek permission from his party leaders and workers to join the TMC. After getting an overwhelming nod through show of hands during the meeting, Haque announced that he would join the TMC on July 21, the day when Trinamool will observe its Annual Martyrs’ Day.
The public meeting at Farakka Nurul Hasan College was attended by many Congress workers and people from across Farakka block. The MLA became emotional during the public meeting and said: “I cannot explain to anyone what I am feeling. I have got a huge opportunity to work for the people as the Congress MLA. The party has given me honour and respect much more than my expectation. The decision of quitting the Congress is just like quitting my own religion. My eyes are moist. I am feeling like leaving my dear ones.”
Haque is also the secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) and a Congress observer for Jharkhand and a former party observer for Jammu & Kashmir. The MLA said that his failure to provide security to his fellow partymen and lack of development in his constituency prompted him to take the decision. “I have been assured that peace will return to Farakka if I join the Trinamool. So I have taken this decision and now I seek your permission,” Haque told a gathering of 6,000 people.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Sunday, Haque said, “There is no co-ordination among the top Congress leaders in the state. Moreover, since I am a Congress MLA, the state government has no plans of development in my area. Even if I try, the development plans are thwarted by the ruling party. How long can this continue?”
The development comes as a severe blow to the Congress, especially for state Congress president, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Berhampore constituency in Murshidabad. “He surrendered to the terror tactics of Trinamool Congress. It is unfortunate,” Chowdhury said.
Haque is, however, not the only one to join the TMC. Sources said a number of Congress MLAs from Murshidabad, considered one of the few Congress bastions in the state, are all set to join the TMC on July 21. In the 2016 Assembly elections, 14 Congress MLAs had won from Murshidabad out of the total 22 seats. Already 4 Congress MLAs from the district have joined the Trinamool.