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Health activists, BJP leaders join Trinamool ahead of 2021 Bengal polls


KOLKATA: A host of leaders, including health activist Rezaul Karim, joined the Trinamool Congress on Wednesday from other political parties.

Karim, a former Congress Doctors' Cell chief and CPI (M)'s Birbhum candidate in last year's Lok Sabha election, was welcomed to the party by its secretary-general Partha Chatterjee.

"An anti-Left doctors' organisation was also formed in 2009 under the leadership of Dr Karim. Party supremo Mamata Banerjee spoke to him after he expressed interest in joining the Trinamool Congress," Chatterjee said at the joining programme at the party headquarter here.

Karim was removed from the post of chairman of the Congress Doctors' Cell after he was named the CPI(M) candidate.

The seat was won by TMC's Satabdi Roy.

Koushik Chaki, the founder and honorary secretary of West Bengal Doctors' Forum, also joined the TMC at the programme.

He is in charge of the Protocol Monitoring Committee for COVID-19 of the state government.

Ainul Haque, a CPI(M) leader from Purba Bardhaman since the beginning of his political career and chairman of Burdwan Municipality from 2003 to 2013, joined the TMC on Wednesday following a brief stint in the BJP.

Haque had joined the BJP in March last year after he was expelled from the CPI(M) in 2017.

Former BJP leader Sundar Paswan, whom Chatterjee described as a fighter for safeguarding the interests of people of the backward classes, also joined the TMC.

"He appealed to Mamata Banerjee to join the party and was given the go-ahead," the TMC secretary-general said.