Thursday, 26 May, 2022
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Pranab Mukherjee’s ex-MP son Abhijit set to quit Congress and join Trinamool today

Abhijit Mukherjee, who first became an MP in 2012 from his father’s seat in Bengal, had met Mamata’s nephew and Trinamool general secretary Abhishek in June. 

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Kolkata: Former Congress MP Abhijit Mukherjee, son of late former President Pranab Mukherjee, is all set to join the Trinamool Congress Monday, nearly a fortnight after meeting party general secretary and MP Abhishek Banerjee (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew) at his office.

Trinamool parliamentary party leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Bengal Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee will be present at his induction, the party said. 

Abhijit is the first and only member of Pranab Mukherjee’s family to join the Trinamool Congress. His sister Sharmistha continues to be in the Congress. Mukherjee, a former Union minister, had been a Congress leader for decades. He passed away last August.

Over the past two months, Abhijit has been seen praising Mamata Banerjee on social media for her “development work”. He also supported the Mamata Banerjee government against the BJP’s allegations with regard to the fake vaccination camps unearthed last month. 

Since Mamata Banerjee has to contest bypolls to retain her CM’s post (she didn’t win any seat in this year’s assembly elections), Mukherjee said she should give a shot to the Jangipur assembly constituency in Murshidabad, from where his father used to contest at the Lok Sabha level.

The assembly seat is currently vacant because election to it was deferred after one of the candidates passed away.

He addressed Mamata Banerjee as “Didi” — as she is known among followers — in his tweets. 

Abhijit also criticised Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who often condemns Mamata Banerjee’s administration publicly, and tweeted birthday wishes to Nilanjan Das, a youth wing leader of the Trinamool Congress.

ThePrint contacted Abhijit Mukherjee through texts and calls for a comment on his switch, but there was no response by the time of publishing this report. 

A senior Trinamool Congress leader, who didn’t wish to be named, said Abhijit Mukherjee did not appear to be happy with the Congress’ political future in Bengal and wanted to be a part of Mamata Banerjee’s team. “We have two Rajya Sabha positions empty. So, he seems to be a contender. But the party will take the final decision,” he added. 

The Congress has seen its position in the state dwindle over the years. The party was decimated in the state in the assembly election earlier this year, winning no seat and just around 3 per cent of the voteshare. The election was won by the Trinamool Congress, the party’s third consecutive victory in state polls.

Also Read: How retrospective restraint prevents Pranab Mukherjee from saying he was a winner or loser

Political career 

Abhijit Mukherjee entered national politics as a Congress MP in 2012, after Pranab Mukherjee vacated his Jangipur Lok Sabha seat before his appointment as President. 

Abhijit won the bypoll and, in 2014, secured Jangipur again as the Congress candidate. In 2019, however, he finished third, losing to Trinamool candidate Khalilur Rahman by almost 3 lakh votes, and the BJP’s Mafuja Khatoon by at least 1 lakh votes. 

Abhijit had been maintaining a low profile since then. 

As stated by the Trinamool Congress leader above, the party has two vacant Rajya Sabha seats — one vacated by former Union minister Dinesh Trivedi who joined the BJP in February this year, and the other by Manas Bhuniya, who resigned in May after he became an MLA. 

(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)

Also Read: Pranab Mukherjee’s children in Twitter spat over his memoir, son objects to its publication


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