Dubbing Trinamool Congress as the “real Congress”, former WBPCC president Manas Bhunia Monday joined the ruling TMC and accused the opposition party leadership of “ruining” the party in the state.
“Today I have joined the real Congress, that is Trinamool Congress. The Congress with which I was associated with for 46 years is completely ruined because of (AICC General Secretary) C P Joshi, Adhir Chowdhury and Abdul Mannan. From today I am a loyal soldier of Trinamool Congress and will abide by the orders and decisions of Mamata Banerjee,” Bhunia told reporters after TMC flag was handed over to him by its leader Abhishek Banerjee.
Later, Bhunia left to meet TMC supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at ‘Nabanna’, the state secretariat.
Asked whether he has communicated his decision of quitting the party to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Bhunia said, “I used to communicate with Soniaji, Rahulji four times a month. But now there is a big mountain between us and the mountain is Joshi and the state leadership.”
“Bidhan Bhavan (state Congress office) now looks as a ghost house,” he said.
Asked whether he got any assurances from the TMC regarding withdrawal of a murder case pending against him at Sabang, Bhunia said, “The matter is before the court and I won’t comment on it.”
He also refused to give a direct reply whether he would quit his MLA post and fight a by-election on a TMC ticket. “It is for my party, the TMC leadership to decide,” he replied.
Along with Bhunia a host of Congress leaders including former Congress Legislative Party leader Mohammed Sohrab also joined TMC.
His brother Bikash Bhunia, who was a Congress leader in Midnapore, had recently joined Trinamool.
Last week, Bhunia had indicated that he might quit the party after his two-month long tussle with the state leadership and AICC over PAC chairman post.
Heaping praise on Mamata, Bhunia last week had described her as the “best chief minister in the country” and said all political parties should thank her for returning the farmlands to farmers in Singur.
The high-powered Central Disciplinary Action Committee of Congress, headed by A K Antony had sought an explanation from Bhunia for his various actions that had put him at loggerheads with the state Congress as also the state CLP which had recommended his suspension.
Bhunia was a cabinet minister in the Mamata Banerjee government in 2011 when Congress was a part of it.