Days after tendering his resignation from the BJP, former Rajya Sabha MP Chandan Mitra Saturday joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC). He was seen on the dais with TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the party’s annual Martyr’s Day rally at Esplande in Kolkata. Along with Mitra, four other Congress MLAs are among several others who joined the ruling party.
The Indian Express had reported on July 17 that Mitra, Editor and Managing Director of The Pioneer, had sent his resignation to BJP chief Amit Shah. Mitra had started criticising the party of late. After its defeat in the Kairana bypoll in May, he had called it a “serious setback”.
Mitra was nominated to the Rajya Sabha for a second term in 2010. His tenure ended in 2016. He was a close aide of party veteran L K Advani, but was sidelined by the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah leadership.
The TMC’s rally today has paralysed the city, with thousands of people flocking to Kolkata to attend the event. There are around 6,000 police personally stationed across the city to maintain law and order. Today marks the 25th anniversary of Martyrs’ Day, that commemorates the 13 Youth Congress activists killed in police firing in 1993 during the Left Front regime in West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee is using this occasion to launch the party’s campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.