TMC MP Somen Mitra set to resign, says party moving away from principles
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Somen Mitra, 70, Trinamool Congress MP from Diamond Harbour, is set to resign and return to the Congress at a time the latter is struggling in West Bengal. A towering opposition leader with seven stints in the assembly since 1972, he was Sealdah MLA and heading the state Congress when Mamata Banerjee broke away to form the Trinamool Congress, then went on to join her party in 2008. Excerpts from an interview:
Is it true that you will join Congress after resigning on January 15?
Let me resign from Parliament first. It is unwise to talk about my next move as long as I am in the Trinamool Congress.
What or whom are you unhappy with in the Trinamool?
I have nothing against anyone, and Trinamool leaders have not publicly insulted me either. I am leaving because the party has been moving away from the principles it promised to follow and on the back of which it came to power. It is difficult for me to adjust with its new stand. The party's slogan was, "We want change, not vengeance," but we have seen a huge deviation. Women are being assaulted and raped, the administration is not taking notice. Thousands have been cheated by chit fund companies. Land is being grabbed by land sharks. In a nutshell, the "Ma, mati, manush" slogan has taken a different turn. Ma is being raped, mati is being encroached on, and the manush is being cheated. Party leaders are making comments such has "hurl bombs at police" and "cut off the hands of the opposition", the party chief knows it, but neither the party nor the administration is doing anything against these people. The police, on top of it, are giving them security. I wanted to talk to the chief minister but she didn't have the time to sit with me. Perhaps these things are trivial to her.