Former MLA from Manihan Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district, Laliteshpati Tripathi may join the Trinamool Congress (TMC) after 20 October, according to media reports.
He had quit the Congress party in September. The TMC confirmed that the party has reached out to him, and talks are on.
At a time when other parties were trying to get Brahmins’ votes, Tripathi’s exit was considered a setback to the Congress trying to revive its cadre in the state.
Great-grandson of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kamlapati Tripathi, Lalitesh did not have much electoral success in the recent past though Tripathi’s are considered influential in the Mirzapur-Varanasi region.
It is being claimed that poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who came in touch with Tripathi while working with Congress in 2017, laid grounds for the deal. This also puts to rest earlier speculations of Tripathi joining the Samajwadi Party.
2024, Not 2022, on TMC’s Mind
Once Tripathi formally joins TMC, he would be most likely be handed the task to steer the party’s prospects in the state, though a source claimed the party would not be aiming to contest 2022 Assembly elections in the state.
“Prashant Kishor’s focus is on consolidating the TMC’s national prospects and make it the principal opposition. The TMC has been expanding in several states, including Goa and Meghalaya. In UP, the focus will be to prepare grounds for 2024,” a source said.
“A team of I-PAC would be closely monitoring the Assembly elections from Lucknow and would further strategise on 2024,” the source added.
The TMC has no footprints in UP, and this is the first time the party has made a major recruitment ahead of a crucial election in the state. During West Bengal Assembly elections, Samajwadi Party had extended unconditional support to the TMC, and the latter is expected to extend the same courtesy in the Assembly elections in UP next year.