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Trinamool's Somen Mitra quits as MP, to rejoin Congress
Wednesday January 15, 2014 7:12 PM, IANS

Trinamool Congress MP Somen Mitra Wedneday resigned from the Lok Sabha, accusing the party leadership of "speaking the language of Hitler's Nazi regime" and failing to keep its promises after taking power in West Bengal. He is set to rejoin the Congress Jan 21.

Mitra said he was willing to contest the upcoming general election on Congress ticket.

"The Trinamool Congress came to power by promising to free democracy from 'partycracy'. But now we have autocracy. The language used by the leadership is an echo of Hitler's Nazi Germany. They are threatening to cut off limbs, skin people alive. But there is no protest," Mitra said.

"We had said we want change, not retaliation. But there are many instances where retaliation has taken place," said the 70-year-old who won from Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency in 2009.

The Congress leadership earlier announced that Mitra, a former state Congress chief, will rejoin the party Jan 21.

Criticising Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Mitra said she used to ask for probes by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at every step as an opposition leader. "But after coming to power, she always stonewalls such demands."

On the allegations of Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh, arrested in connection with the multi-crore-rupee Saradha Group chit fund scam, Mitra said: "He has named several leaders, including the chief minister. She claims she is a symbol of honesty. To prove her honesty, she should have asked for CBI probe which she did not do."

The veteran leader described the recent gang rape and death of a girl in Madhyamgram in North 24 Parganas district as a "matter of shame for Bengal".

Ridiculing Banerjee's oft-repeated slogan that her government was one of "Mother, land and people", Mitra said: "The government has failed to protect the honour of mothers and sisters. The large number of rapes that are taking place now is unprecedented.

"Land grabbers are ruling the roost. People are the worst sufferers."

Mitra said he was forced to resign as MP as it was not possible for him to adjust to such politics.

"I now hear a demand that Banerjee should rule the country. But even if she rules the world, I cannot be part of such a rule."

Mitra admitted the Congress in the state was in shambles. "I know its existence is at stake. But I can tell you that only the Congress can bolster national unity."

Welcoming Mitra, Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said in Kolkata: "It's the return of the tiger. It will be good for the party."

The Trinamool dubbed Mitra as an "opportunist".

"He enjoyed the perks and power of an MP for so long. Now he is revolting because he has finished drinking the honey," said Transport Minister Madan Mitra.

Mitra, a onetime arch-rival of Mamata Banerjee when both were in the Congress, is regarded as the prime reason for Banerjee's decision to leave the Congress and float another party in 1997.

Later, the rivals turned friends when Mitra joined the Trinamool in 2008, and a year later got elected to the Lok Sabha.

However, Mitra, used to a position of eminence in the Congress, never got much importance in the Trinamool.

Mitra's wife Shikha, a Trinamool legislator, who had first raised the banner of revolt, is under suspension.

"I can't speak for her," said Mitra, when asked if his wife would also join the Congress.

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