'Will uphold integrity, secularism': Ex-President's son Abhijit Mukherjee joins TMC
Abhijit Mukherjee, the son of former President Pranab Mukherjee, joined the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Kolkata, West Bengal on Monday. Mukherjee praised TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for managing to fend off the rival Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) "communal wave" in the state. Mukherjee said that he will work to uphold integrity and secularism. Here are more details.
Mukherjee joined the ruling TMC in West Bengal in the presence of party MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay and party General-Secretary Partha Chatterjee at the Trinamool Bhavan in Kolkata. "I would like to thank Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee for giving me this opportunity. I came from one Congress to another Congress," he said. Banerjee was formerly affiliated with the Indian National Congress (INC).
Mukherjee said, "The way Mamata Banerjee halted the recent communal wave by BJP, I believe that in the future, with the support of others, she would be able to do the same in the entire country." "Therefore, I have joined TMC as a soldier and will work accordingly with the party's instructions. I will work to maintain integrity and secularism," he added.
Mukherjee may contest for the Jangipur Assembly seat in the upcoming bypolls. His father had won the Jangipur Parliamentary constituency twice as a Congress MP. He vacated the seat in 2012 to run for President. Thereafter, Mukherjee himself had won the Jangipur Parliamentary constituency. In 2014, he won it again, only to lose it to TMC's Khalilur Rahman in 2019.
Speaking on the INC, Mukherjee said he was not being utilized, adding that he was "bypassed for every political program." He described Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as a "gentleman." He said, "Unfortunately, the Congress party is not utilizing his thoughts and vision in the right direction." Mukherjee said his sister, Sharmistha—who remains in the INC—is "capable and entitled to her own decisions."
Rumors were rife that Mukherjee may quit the INC after Jitin Prasada's high-profile exit in Uttar Pradesh. However, Mukherjee had earlier denied that he will be quitting the party. Mukherjee's exit is the second jolt to the grand old party that has grown meek since an embarrassing defeat in the 2019 general elections. Last year, the party's Jyotiraditya Scindia had defected to the BJP.