AIMIM’s West Bengal faction leader Sq Abdul Kalam joined several members of the party led by Azad Owaisi in the Trinamool Congress on Saturday, just months before the assembly elections.
Kalam, who joined the TMC at its headquarters in Kolkata, said there had been an atmosphere of peace and tranquility in West Bengal for many years and that he had changed sides to keep the “Vishak air” in the Gulf.
“We saw that West Bengal was an oasis of peace. But of late, the wind has poisoned and this has to be set right. That is why I decided to join the Trinamool Congress,” he told reporters.
The AIMIM leader and her supporters joined the TMC in the presence of party senior leader and state minister Chandrama Bhattacharya.
Kalam said AIMIM should have tried to move into West Bengal in the past and it was not right to demand political entry at this time.
“This will lead to a reduction in unwanted votes, which is unwelcome,” he said.
“I went to districts like Bangura, Murshidabad, Cooch Behar and Malta and talked to the people there. They all said to put this poisonous air in the bay. There is a need to join the Trinamool Congress, ”said Kalam.
In November, the state’s main leader Anwar Pasha and his colleagues joined the Trinamool Congress, saying the Hyderabad-based party would only act as a vote-pocketer to help the BJP.
Owaisi visited the state last Sunday and met with prominent Muslim leader Abbas Siddiqui to discuss the political situation and the Assembly elections, which his party has declared war on.
Muslims, who are the deciding factor in nearly 100-110 seats in the state, have acted as a bulwark against the TMC’s rivals until the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Nevertheless, key Muslim leaders in the state have said the equations could change once the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) enters.
Elections for the 294-member West Bengal Assembly are likely to be held in April-May.