Congress parliamentarian Mausam Benazir Noor, who is a two-time MP from Malda North and the niece of former Railway Minister ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury, joined the ruling Trinamool Congress on Monday, The Indian Express reported. Malda has been a Congress stronghold for decades.

Noor, who was also appointed Trinamool general secretary, met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat in the evening along with Subhendu Adhikary – the Trinamool Congress leader in charge of the district – before announcing her decision.

“Apart from other areas, she will campaign in the districts of North Bengal and in Murshidabad,” Mamata Banerjee told reporters.

Noor said everyone has witnessed how the chief minister helped the people of the district during floods in 2017. “Everyone saw how she stood with the family members of Afrazul Khan [a labourer killed in Rajasthan],” the 39-year-old politician added. “It is she who the people of Bengal want. There is no denying of that. I intend to work for the people following the footsteps of Mamata Banerjee. Everyone in Bengal know that she symbolises development and secularism.”

Adhikary said Noor would the party officially on January 29 at a public meeting in Malda.

Meanwhile, the Congress accused the Trinamool Congress of attempting to break it up. Gaurav Gogoi, the party’s central observer in the state, accused the ruling party of indirectly helping the BJP, NDTV reported.