Kolkata: Defying Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee`s warning of expulsion, two party MLAs, who decided to contest the Assembly election as Independents after being denied tickets, Monday said under no circumstances they would withdraw from the fray.
Challenging the Congress threat of a six-year expulsion for contesting official party candidates or any nominee of the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance, six-time Congress legislator Ram Piyare Ram said, "I won`t mind if any action is taken against me for contesting as an Independent."
"Since 1962 I am in the Congress and nobody can drive me out of the party. My voters in Kavitirtha constituency want me to contest and I will contest to win the election," Ram told a news aegncy.
Ram said he had taken the decision only after gross injustice was done to him in denying nomination from the constituency which had returned him to the Assembly for the sixth time.
"Voters in my constituency are very much sympathetic towards me and my party Congress. But this time the situation has changed and I have been denied ticket due to mysterious circumstances," he said.
Ram expressed his firmness to contest the seat as an Independent candidate, asserting that under no circumstances he would withdraw.
In a bid to stem dissent in the Congress ranks after finalising seat-sharing with Trinamool Congress, Mukherjee yesterday warned rebels contesting as Independents against official nominees of a six-year expulsion from the party as
per the party constitution.
He pointed out there was no need for forming any disciplinary committee to deal with them. Those who would be contesting the election against official Congress nominees and against nominees of the alliance partner would get expelled
for six years.
He said the PCC president had been vested with adequate power in this regard and would wait till the last day of withdrawal of nominations in the concerned seats.