New Delhi :
In a big jolt to the Congress party in West Bengal, MP Mausam Noor has on Monday joined the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal in the presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Noor was elected to the Parliament in 2014 from Maladaha Uttar Lok Sabha constituency. She was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 also from the same Lok Sabha constituency. She is the niece of former senior Congress leader ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury. The joining of Noor is a relief for the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress after the party lost Bishnupur MP Saumitra Khan to the BJP. Another MP Anupam Hazra has been expelled by the party for anti-party activities. He is an MP from Bolpur.
The Congress, on the other hand, accused Mamata Banerjee's party of trying to finish it off and paving the way for the "communal" BJP in the state. Noor, niece of the late Congress stalwart A B A Ghani Khan Chowdhury, is a two-time Congress MP from Malda (North). "TMC's claim that it wants to fight the BJP and strengthen secular forces in Bengal and India is absolutely bogus and this poaching of our MP is the biggest example of it. TMC is trying to finish the Congress," state Congress president Somen Mitra said.
"If someone wants to leave the Congress and join some other party how can we stop him or her... When I met Congress president Rahul Gandhi last year I told him to talk to Mausam as she might switch over to TMC," he said. He said the Congress will put up its candidate from the constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. According to state Congress sources, 39-year-old Noor has been a strong advocate of alliance with the TMC in West Bengal which was rejected by the party's state leadership.
Noor's uncle Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury, the MP from Malda (South), is also in favour of forging an alliance with the TMC. He and Congress MLA Maniul Haque had met TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee at his residence last year. "We knew Mausam was in touch with the TMC leadership but after Congress' victory in the three Hindi-heartland states, she had said that she would be with the Congress and there is no question of joining the TMC," said another senior state Congress leader.
Congress' in-charge of Bengal Gaurav Gogoi said the party's central leadership is aware of the development but would not like to comment on it as of now. This is the first time that a Congress MP defected to the Trinamool after it formed government in the state in 2011. After 2016 assembly polls, 14 Congress MLAs have switched over to the TMC. Senior state Congress leaders, who did not wish to be named, said the defection should be a message for the high-command who are in favour of keeping TMC in its "good books".
The daughter of Late Syed Mohammad Noor and Late Rubi Noor, Mausam Benazir Noor completed her law graduate from the University of Calcutta. She entered politics when she contested and won from Sujapur (Vidhan Sabha constituency) after the demise of her mother in 2009. Her mother had won that seat thrice. Mausam Noor was the West Bengal Youth Congress President and thereafter, she was elected to the Lok Sabha, the same year from Maldaha Uttar (Lok Sabha constituency).