Derek O’Brien claims ‘many’ Congress MPs in touch with TMC

Speaking at a press conference, TMC lawmaker Derek O’Brien said that many senior Congress MPs are in touch with the Trinamool Congress.

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By: Joymala Bagchi | NEW DELHI
Updated: 25 February, 2023 5:40 pm IST
Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien (file photo)

In what may strain its relationship with Congress, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress on Saturday said it may induct some Congress MPs in the coming days.

Speaking at a press conference, TMC lawmaker Derek O’Brien said that many senior Congress MPs are in touch with the Trinamool Congress.

“There are many more senior Congress MPs who are in touch with us – even in Meghalaya. They are talking to us,” O’Brien told media persons.

He was responding to a recent comment by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi against TMC during campaigning for the Meghalaya Assembly elections.

This is not the first time when TMC has claimed to plan the induction of Congress MPs. In July last year, party leaders had claimed that three sitting Congress Lok Sabha MPs and as many former Rajya Sabha members were in touch with the party leadership to join the Mamata Banerjee-led party.

In August, Congress’ women’s wing head Sushmita Dev resigned from the party and joined the Trinamool Congress. In September, she was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal.

Relations between Congress and TMC in Meghalaya nosedived after the latter inducted 12 of 17 Congress legislators – including former CM Mukul Sangma, in the state in November 2021.

On Thursday, Rahul Gandhi alleged that TMC had aligned with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the northern state, evoking sharp reactions from TMC leaders.

Responding to his charge, the TMC MP said, “The Congress party must do some serious soul searching. What is the ideology of Congress? Why so many have left (Congress) in Meghalaya?”

On Thursday, TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee said that Congress’ “irrelevance, incompetence and insecurity has put them in a state of delirium”. He suggested the Gandhi scion “revisit their politics of vanity instead of attacking us (TMC)”.

“Our growth isn’t driven by money. It is people’s love that propels us. By the same logic, was it the Congress’s intention to help the BJP by contesting 92 seats in the Bengal elections in 2021?” Banerjee questioned the logic behind Gandhi’s allegations that TMC helped the BJP by dividing votes when they contested elections in Goa.

Meanwhile, attacking the ruling coalition, O’Brien said, “A vote for the NPP is a vote for the BJP. They are one and the same. Vote for TMC is a genuine 100% vote to save Meghalaya.”

O’Brien also said that the party is aiming to improve education, health and infrastructure in the state. “These are not hollow words,” he said.

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