As Congress president Rahul Gandhi prepares to meet the Congress leadership from West Bengal on Friday, the party is all set to witness an exodus with half-a-dozen of its MLAs and MPs expected to join the Trinamool Congress.
If one-fourth of the MLAs switch side, the Congress may lose the status of an Opposition party in the State to the Left in case the rebels formally resign from the Congress. Twelve of the Congress’s 44 MLAs have already joined the Trinamool after the 2016 Assembly elections. Realising the gravity of the situation, Mr. Gandhi decided to meet all senior Congress leaders from the State.
But one person will be missing from the meeting: State Congress Committee general secretary Omprakash Mishra, a senior leader who had played a key role in stitching together the Congress-Left alliance for the 2016 Assembly polls. Mr. Mishra was entrusted with putting together a similar coalition before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls about a month ago. “Look how the list of invitees is drawn. MPs, MLAs, ex-MPs and ex-AICC secretaries can attend Friday’s meeting. This is being done to drop Mishra who is none of the above,” said a senior leader.
Within the Congress, many feel the Trinamool may decimate the Congress in its base — Murshidabad and Malda districts — by “luring” leaders.