New Delhi: Congress leader Kirti Azad and former JD(U) leader Pavan Varma on Tuesday joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the presence of party chief Mamata Banerjee in New Delhi. Former Congress MP Ashok Tanwar, who was a close aide of Rahul Gandhi once, also joined TMC on Tuesday.
“I’ll work under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee and I’ll start working on the field. The BJP’s politics is divisive and we will fight it. Today, a personality like her is needed in the country who can show it the right direction,” Azad said after joining.
Varma, a former advisor to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, was expelled from the ruling JD(U) in 2020. He was an MP until July 2016. He was also the national general secretary and spokesperson of the party.
“Looking at the current political circumstances and the potential in Mamata Banerjee, I have today joined TMC,” said Varma.
A member of the 1983 cricket World Cup-winning squad, Azad was suspended from the BJP for openly targeting the then Union finance minister Arun Jaitley over alleged irregularities and corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association in December 2015. He joined the Congress in 2018.
Azad was elected to the Lok Sabha thrice from Darbhanga in Bihar. He had contested the 2014 general elections on a BJP ticket.
Tanwar was an MP from Sirsa during 2009-2014 and also the president of the party’s Haryana unit. He quit the Congress days before the Haryana Assembly elections in October 2019. He launched his own party, Apna Bharat Morcha, in February this year.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is currently on a four-day visit to Delhi where she is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several opposition leaders. Banerjee on Monday said she will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and raise issues concerning the enhancement of BSF jurisdiction as well as the ongoing “atrocities” in Tripura.
TMC MPs on Monday held protests in the national capital against “attack on party workers” in Tripura and arrest of youth leader Saayoni Ghosh. Describing the situation in Tripura under the Biplab Deb-led BJP government as “atrocious”, Banerjee wondered why the human rights commission was “not taking a note of the ongoing use of brute force” in the Northeastern state.
In the meeting with the opposition leaders, Banerjee will hold discussions on ways that could be adopted to confront the BJP in the upcoming winter session of Parliament, starting November 29.
Banerjee, chairperson of the TMC parliamentary party, will also hold a meeting with the party MPs to decide the party’s strategy on the floor of the house. This is her second visit to Delhi since July.
(With PTI Inputs)