A senior leader of the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), who was a Minister in the Left Front government, has joined the Trinamool Congress. After joining the TMC, Paresh Adhikari said that he has joined the party “being influenced by Mamata Banerjee’s movement against the NRC”. Mr. Adhikari, a four times MLA from the Mekhliganj constituency in Cooch Behar district, was the Food Minister in the Left Front Cabinet. While he lost to the TMC’s Arghya Roy Pradhan in the 2016 Assembly elections, he has a strong vote base in Mekhliganj sub-division of Cooch Behar district.However, the AIFB’s State leadership claimed that Mr. Adhikary’s joining the TMC will have no impact on the party. Claiming Mr. Adhikary to be a “political opportunist,” AIFB State secretary Naren Chatterjee said: “His actions have exposed him as a political opportunist. He will get a fitting reply from the people of Bengal.” Local TMC leaders said that Ms. Banerjee’s plan is to “groom Mr. Adhikary for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls”.