Calcutta, April 24: Rebel Trinamul MP Ajit Panja’s daughter Mohua Mandal today formally joined the Congress. She is the party’s byelection candidate from the Vidysagar Assembly constituency, which fell vacant after the death of Lakshmi Dey.
State Congress president Pranab Mukherjee announced Mandal’s candidature at a news conference. She had contested the same seat as a Trinamul Congress candidate in the 2001 election. Mandal’s position in Trinamul had become dismal after Panja openly revolted against party chief Mamata Banerjee a month before the poll.
“I was totally ostracised by the party after baba revolted against the Trinamul chief. I did not receive any help from the party during the election. Only the Congress leaders helped me fight the poll against a heavyweight like Lakshmi Dey,” said Mandal.
Mandal’s entry into the Congress is likely to narrow the chasm between Mukherjee and Panja.