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Pranab's son joins Congress, may contest West Bengal polls

Ananya Dutta

— Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

Abhijit Mukherjee, son of Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, fills out a form to join the Congress in Kolkata on Monday. Manas Bhunia, West Bengal Pradesh Congress president, is beside him.

KOLKATA: Just weeks before the West Bengal Assembly elections, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee joined the Congress party here on Monday.

Mr. Abhijit, who served more than 22 years as an officer in the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), told journalists that although he could have joined politics at any other time, he felt that this was the right time for him to join the party.

He submitted his resignation to SAIL on March 9.

‘Soldier of the party'

Invoking All-India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Rahul Gandhi's catchphrase, Mr. Abhijit insisted he was “a soldier of the Congress party,” and would contest the Assembly elections “only if the party wills it.”

He added that for the time being, he would be concentrating on the issues of the people in Birbhum.

Coming from a family of Congressmen (his grandfather, Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee was a freedom fighter and a member of the AICC), the former corporate of SAIL said that when he sought the permission of his father, he was told “the decision is yours.”

“Committed”

Asked if his actions may be interpreted as opportunistic, given that he was joining the party on the eve of the Assembly polls, Mr. Abhijit insisted that he had always been keen on working for the people of Birbhum and had even convinced some Rajya Sabha MPs to allocate development projects in Birbhum districts in the past.

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