Kolkata, Sep 19 (IANS) The Congress in West Bengal on Monday demanded the formal resignation of former state party chief Manas Bhunia — who crossed over to the ruling Trinamool Congress — and asked him to relinquish his assembly seat as well.
“Bhunia must tender his resignation from Congress as well as relinquish his assembly seat. He must resign from the party in writing before switching over to another party. He has not done so and it appears he neither intends to resign from the state assembly,” Omprakash Mishra, General Secretary of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee, said in a statement.
“This is a most disgusting and cowardly position. If he has the guts, he should resign and not cling to the position bestowed upon him by the electors of Sabang as a representative of Congress party,” Mishra said.
The Congress suffered a major jolt in Bengal when Bhunia and a host of other frontline party leaders, including provincial office-bearers, joined the Trinamool Congress on Monday.
Describing the Trinamool as “completely bereft of any moral principles”, the Congress accused it of “engineering defections” by “money, muscle and misuse of administrative machinery”.
“The TMC doesn’t mind engineering defections but is afraid of facing the electorate.”
“It is a shame that money, muscle and misuse of administrative machinery have been deployed to effect defections so as to render the state without any opposition. Elected representatives have been kidnapped, false criminal cases registered and bomb and revolvers are being used to coerce elected representatives belonging to opposition political parties.”
“Should the TMC be convinced of its popularity and so-called development record, why is it chickening out of the necessary by-elections,” asked Mishra.
Alongside Bhunia, another veteran Congress leader and its legislature party leader in the previous assembly, Mohammad Sohrab, also switched allegiance to the Trinamool.
State Congress Vice President Asit Majumdar, four general secretaries and six provincial secretaries as also a number of leaders of the party’s students, youth, minority and trade union wings also deserted the party to throw their lot with the Trinamool.