Amid speculations that a number of Congress lawmakers were inclined to join West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress soon, sitting MP and former Union Minister Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury and a party MLA on Thursday met Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee.
Choudhury later said he had gone to discuss a grand alliance involving both the parties against the BJP in the state.
“We are considering forming a ‘mahajot’ (grand alliance). Congress and all others need to come together in Bengal to defeat the BJP,” said Choudhury, a sitting Lok Sabha member from Malda Dakkhin.
Asked whether he would be part of it, he said: “Yes, if Congress is there, I have to be there”.
But he ruled out participating in the July 21 annual martyr’s rally organized by the Trinamool.
Speaking on the same line, Congress legislator from Murshidabad’s Farakka Moinul Haq said: “The issue now is to defeat the BJP. We need to work towards that. We Went to Chatterjee to discuss that. We also talked about setting up a college in the name of late Congress leader Abu Barkat Ghani Khan Choudhury in Malda.”
Hasem is the late Congress leader’s brother.
However, state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury categorically said nobody has been authorized to hold any talks on any alliance.
“From our party, we have not authorised anybody to talk to other parties about any alliance. In our party, the issue of the alliance is decided by the high command. If any leader is doing that, he is doing it in his individual capacity. The party is not involved in this,” he said.
But Chatterjee kept the mystery.
“Lot of people meet me daily. Why talks about them (Abu Hasem and Haq) only? Others have also met me. Whatever we discussed, there should not be any speculation on that.”
Asked whether he would welcome Abu Hasem Choudhury, Chatterjee said: “If he wants to join us to be a party of the development initiatives taken by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he is welcome.”
He also gave a cryptic answer to a poser on whether Choudhury would be invited to the July 21 Trinamool meeting. “Lot of Khan Choudhurys would get invited in the July 21 rally.”
Political circles have been agog with rumours about five Congress MLAs – three from Murshidabad district, and two from Malda – toying with the idea of crossing over to the Trinamool soon. There is speculation they might attend the July 21 rally, or join Trianmool early next month.