Former Bengal minister regrets joining BJP, wants to return to Trinamool

Kolkata : Regretting his decision to join BJP, former West Bengal minister Manjul Krishna Thakur on Wednesday urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to take him back into the Trinamool Congress.

“Like any other human being, I too have committed a mistake. Joining BJP was a mistake and I have sought apology, urging I be taken back into the party,” said Thakur who sent a letter to Banerjee, also the party supremo, seeking apology for his “mistake” and also met Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee.

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“I regret my mistake and I have assured that I will not repeat it. I have urged that I be taken back into0Trinamool,” added Thakur who held the refugee, relief and rehabilitation portfolio, before quitting the ministry to join the Bharatiya Janata Party in January.

After joining the BJP, Thakur had dubbed Banerjee “unprincipled” and the Trinamool unfit for any “good and educated person”.

“I was never allowed to work in my department. There was too much of factional feuds… I couldn’t work for the Matua community,” Thakur, hailing from the Matua community, had then said.

The Matua community, comprising primarily low caste Hindu refugees from Bangladesh who are members of the Matua Mahasangh, commands nearly a crore votes in various southern Bengal districts and plays a crucial role in determining the electoral fortunes in at least 74 of the state’s 294 assembly seats.

Trinamool joint secretary and state minister Firhad Hakim said the party will decide on Thakur’s fate.

“Today he met Chatterjee and also wrote to the Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee seeking apology and urging he be taken back into Trinamool. He admitted that he was misled by the BJP,” said Hakim.

“As regards his return, the decision rests with the party,” added Hakim.