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Sangma, Mamata form National Trinamool Congress
March 13, 2004 12:45 IST
Less than a week after the Election Commission recognized the Sharad Pawar group as the Nationalist Congress Party, the P A Sangma faction today merged with the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress to form the Nationalist Trinamool Congress.
The new entity downplayed the foreign origin issue of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
The new party, which will be headed by Banerjee, has retained the Trinamool Congress 'flower with grass' symbol.
An announcement to this effect was made by Banerjee and Sangma at a press conference in New Delhi, in the presence of Nagaland Chief Minister N Rio, who is also Chairman, North-East Peoples Forum, which has aligned with the National Democratic Alliance.
Banerjee sidestepped questions on whether she endorsed Sangma's views on the foreign origin issue, saying, "We do not want him to change his stand [on the issue]."
Sangma said there was no difference of opinion with Banerjee on any issue.
He denied being 'soft' on the foreign origin issue and said if it was so, he could have been in the Congress or with Pawar.