Expelled Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay on Friday formally joined the Congress, a party he had left seven years ago. He described the event as a "homecoming."
Bandopadhyay joined the party along with his followers at a function at Mahajati Sadan in Kolkata.
Bandopadhyay chose former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's 60th birth anniversary to return to the party.
Non-Resident Affairs Minister Jagdish Tytler and All India Congress Committee secretary Ram Chandra Khuntia were present on the occasion to welcome Bandopadhyay back into the party.
A letter from party president Sonia Gandhi was read out at the function. "Your decision to join the party today, when we are celebrating the 60th birth anniversary of our beloved leader, Rajivji, shows your commitment to the ideology of the Congress," she wrote.
Bandopadhyay, who founded Trinamool Congress along with Mamata Banerjee in 1990, fell out with her after he was denied ticket to contest the last Lok Sabha election from Kolkata North-West constituency.
He was expelled from the party when he chose to contest the election, though unsuccessfully, as a Congress-backed