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Sudip Bandopadhyay to join Congress

July 27, 2004 18:13 IST

Expelled Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay on Tuesday met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi and announced that he would join the party, which he had left seven years ago, on August 20.

"I have decided to return to my parent party Congress with my supporters at a function in Kolkata on August 20, the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi," Bandopadhyay, who had a 30-minute meeting with Gandhi, told PTI.

Bandopadhyay, who was having estranged relations with Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, was denied ticket to contest the last Lok Sabha election from Kolkata North West constituency.

He was expelled from the party after he contested the election as a Congress-backed independent from the constituency, which he had represented thrice earlier.

He was, however, defeated. He said he would be meeting West Bengal PCC chief and Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday afternoon.

This was his second meeting with Sonia Gandhi in the past few weeks. Bandopadhyay said he had conveyed to Gandhi that there was 'ample scope for polarising the anti-CPI-M vote in West Bengal in favour of the Congress'.

Describing his joining Congress as "home-coming", Bandopadhyay said before he parted ways and joined Trinamool, he was the general secretary of the West Bengal unit of the party and the state Youth Congress President from 1972 to 1976 when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister.

Bandopadhyay was also a member of the AICC for 25 years from 1972 to 1997.

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