Congress MLA disqualified for defecting

Kolkata: West Bengal Assembly Speaker HA Halim Wednesday disqualified Congress legislator Sabitri Mitra, who has joined the Trinamool Congress, from the House.

Mitra, elected from Araidanga constituency in Malda district, was not present when the Speaker passed the order in the House.

"I have filed a petition before the Calcutta High Court stating that proper procedure has not been followed in my disqualification," she told newspersons later.

Mitra, a five-time MLA and a vice-president of the WBPCC, said, "I know I was going to be expelled, but the way it was done was improper. It reflects personal vendetta of PCC president Manas Bhunia against me."

Bhunia, who had urged the Speaker to disqualify her under anti-defection law, said, "This will be a lesson for opportunists who win on a party ticket and later defect to another."

This is the third disqualification of a Congress MLA in the state since the last Assembly polls in 2006. Interestingly, all the three have joined Trinamool.

Earlier, the membership of Somen Mitra and Sudip Bandyopadhyay were cancelled for joining Trinamool.

Claiming that this would not affect Congress' ties with ally Trinamool, Bhunia said that this had sent a message to all politicians and elected representatives.