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Setback for Congress Before 2019 as Malda (North) MP Mausam Noor Likely to Join Trinamool

The MP, niece of legendary Congress leader ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury, set off the speculation recently when she met CM Mamata Banerjee.

Updated:November 12, 2018, 12:31 PM IST
Setback for Congress Before 2019 as Malda (North) MP Mausam Noor Likely to Join Trinamool
Malda (North) MP Mausam Noor is the niece of the legendary Congress leader ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury.
New Delhi: A meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sparked speculation that Congress MP Mausam Noor might join the Trinamool Congress before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Niece of the legendary Congress leader ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury, who over a decade after his death remains central to politics in Malda, Noor had differed from the party line and advocated joining hands with the Trinamool Congress earlier this month.

Sources said Noor and Banerjee had met earlier this week and it is likely that the two-time Congress MP from Malda (North) will be joining the ruling party in the state. The Congress MP couldn’t be reached for comment.

A senior TMC leader said, “This is an important move for the state. Barkat da was synonymous with the area and no one has done more for the area than him. But now, even his family members are realising that the only hope for the state is in the Trinamool Congress.”

Noor advocating for an electoral alliance with the TMC to check the influence of the BJP in the state hadn’t gone down well with Congress state president Somen Mitra. “The BJP is practising communal politics in different parts of the country and to hold it back an alliance with Trinamool Congress is necessary,” Noor had said.

Mitra had, however, countered, “Neither Mausam nor I will take the final call on the issue… The AICC will take the final decision.”

The possibility of Noor leaving couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Congress in Bengal. In October last year, the Congress high command had asked the state Congress to “go easy on criticising Mamata Banerjee” with a grand alliance on their minds. But with such an alliance seemingly increasingly unlikely before polls, the Congress is now trying to cement its place in the state while BJP is looking to capitalise on the vacant space left behind by a decimated Left.

In all of this, Malda is key, a traditional Congress bastion that survived both the 2011 and 2016 Trinamool wave. But in the past year, the Trinamool Congress has made significant inroads during the panchayat elections in the area, including at Sujapur under Kaliachak Assembly — Noor’s home turf.

After Mitra had replaced Adhir Chowdhury as the PCC chief, Mitra had weighed the benefits and cost of allying with the Trinamool versus the Left. “An alliance with the TMC would benefit the party in the short term, but in the long term it would decimate the organsaition,” said a Congress leader, adding that a possible alliance with the Left was not off-the-cards.
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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