KOLKATA: Senior Congress leader Somendra Nath Mitra said he did not lobby with the high command for West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) president post and stated that his first task would be to strengthen the organisation to enable Congress to 'stand on its own feet' in Bengal.
Mitra was reinstated to the post from which he had resigned 20 years ago at the same time when Mamata Banerjee quit Congress to form Trinamool Congress. He was the WBPCC president from 1992-98.
Outgoing WBPCC president and the party's Murshidabad strongman Adhir Ranjan Choudhury was made the campaign committee chairman."I did not lobby with anyone in high command for the post. But I hope I will stand up to the confidence that Delhi bestowed upon me. My first work would be to rejuvenate the organisational strength of the party," he said.
Mitra quit Congress in 2008 to form his own party Pragatisheel Indira Congress which he merged with TMC the next year.
However, he resigned from TMC in 2014 and rejoined Congress. Speaking on relations with Trinamool Congress, he said: "Congress did not gain anything from alliance with TMC in 2011 Assembly elections. There have been no major investments in Bengal over the past seven years of TMC rule. I had promised to be with Mamata Banerjee till I send her to the Writer's Building (then secretariat) after replacing CPM rule. But I had not signed any lifetime agreement with her."
Senior TMC leader and panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee hoped that the new Bengal Congress president would work to fight against CPM and BJP. On the other hand, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that Mitra's becoming of the new Bengal Congress president was an indication that TMC would ally with Congress in Lok Sabha elections next year.