4 Trinamool MLAs join Congress in Arunachal Pradesh

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Itanagar, Oct 10: Four out of five Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs joined the Congress in Arunachal Pradesh earlier this week, sending a clear signal that Mamata Banerjee's decision to pull out of the UPA government at the Centre did not ensure a profit everywhere. All five Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs also joined the Congress as a result of which, the latter's strength in the 60-member assembly rose to 55. Three MLAs belong to the BJP, one to the TMC while one is Independent.

The MLAs who left the TMC and NCP were mainly those who were denied election tickets in the 2009 assembly elections. As a result, both these parties got their MLAs elected despite having little organisation in the state. These MLAs opposed the Congress in the state but called themselves part of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre.

The situation became tricky for these MLAs once Mamata pulled out of the UPA government and all but one returned to the Congress following some bargaining with the latter. The four MLAs who pulled out of the TMC are Tapuk Tapu, Tani Loffa, Karaya Bagang and Kamthok Lowang. The only member who did not leave the party is Laeta Umbrey. The NCP legislators who left the party include Alo Libang, Bamang Felix, Techi Kaso, Ralom Borang and Jomin Tayeng.

All those legislators who joined the Congress said they had full faith on the leadership of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee chief Mukut Mithi and Congress Legislature Party leader and state Chief Minister Nabam Tuki. The CM said the MLAs who returned to the Congress originally belonged to this party and were eager to be a part of the state's development process and abide by the Congress ideology.

The latest development in Arunachal will definitely prove a blow for the TMC, particularly when its supremo Mamata Banerjee said a few days ago that she would call rallies at various parts in northern India, like Delhi, Chandigarh and Lucknow over the next few months to broaden her part's base. She also addressed a rally at Jantar Mantar in the national capital on Oct 1 where she attacked the UPA government over issues like FDI in retail.

All India general secretary of the TMC and former minister Mukul Roy said he has heard about the matter but could not comment without knowing the details.

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