The Telegraph
Monday , May 19 , 2014
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Sikha set to quit, spies poll chance

Sikha Mitra

Calcutta, May 18: Suspended Trinamul MLA Sikha Mitra has decided to resign from the party tomorrow, paving the way for a bypoll in the Chowringhee Assembly segment in a few months.

Sources said Sikha, who was suspended from Trinamul in 2012 for criticising party MLAs for their alleged involvement in the vandalism inside the Assembly, could join the Congress, following in the footsteps of her husband Somen Mitra.

The switchover, if it happens, could assume significance in the bypoll as the Congress has got a lead of 1,548 votes in the Chowringhee Assembly segment, under the Calcutta South Lok Sabha seat.

“Sikha must have taken the decision only after realising that the Congress’s lead in her Assembly segment might stand in good stead for the party,” a Trinamul leader said.

Chowringhee comes under the Calcutta South Lok Sabha seat, from where Trinamul’s Subrata Bakshi defeated his Congress rival Mala Roy.

Somen confirmed that his wife would put in her papers before the Speaker at 11.30am tomorrow. “It’s better to work for the people of Chowringhee as an ordinary citizen than to represent a party that does not believe in democracy,” Somen said, referring to Trinamul which he had quit in January to rejoin the Congress.

Congress leaders said tonight that Sikha might be fielded for the Chowringhee seat in the bypoll. “We have no problems to nominate Sikha. We hope she doesn’t have any,” said former state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya.

Besides Chowringhee, a bypoll will be held in the Basirhat South Assembly in North 24-Parganas which fell vacant with the death of sitting CPM legislator Narayan Mukherjee.