Calcutta, Dec. 30: Joseph Munda, the Congress MLA from Nagrakata has said the Trinamul leadership has offered him a Lok Sabha seat in next year’s elections if he joined the ruling party but he turned down the offer.
Munda, 42, today said: “North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb sent his emissary to me sometime back with a request to join Trinamul. The person told me that the party would offer me a parliamentary seat from north Bengal provided I join. But I told him that I would remain with the Congress.”
Trinamul sources said they were targeting Munda because he would help the party consolidate its organisation among tribals in Jalpaiguri district.
“Wilson Chapramari, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-backed Independent MLA from Kalchini, joined us six months back. Chapramari represents adivasis and so does Munda. Munda’s joining would help us consolidate the organisation among the adivasis in Jalpaiguri district further,” a Trinamul general secretary said here tonight.
Munda had won the Nagrakata (ST) Assembly seat in 2011 by a margin of only 763 votes, defeating the CPM.
PCC secretary Saumitra Roy, who held a meeting with Munda in the Assembly lobby today on behalf of the state Congress, said Munda would not leave the party.
Last month, Trinamul successfully wooed two other Congress MLAs, Ajoy De and Saumitra Khan.
While De was the Congress MLA from Santipur in Nadia, Khan was the Congress legislator from Katalpur in Bankura.
A bypoll is expected to be held in the two Assembly seats next year and the MLAs would have to resign from the Congress in order to contest the elections on Trinamul tickets.
The Congress will organise a gala show on January 21 to celebrate Trinamul MP Somen Mitra’s “home-coming”. Yesterday, Mitra had said he would formally join the Congress on January 21.
“A pandal would be constructed in front of the state Congress’s Bidhan Bhavan headquarters to celebrate Somenda’s homecoming,” said Burrabazar Congress strong man Santosh Pathak.