Congress leader Kirti Azad will join the Trinamool Congress in Delhi on Tuesday, sources in the Mamata Banerjee-led party said.
Banerjee always meets Congress president Sonia Gandhi during her Delhi visits. However, this time, TMC sources indicated that the West Bengal chief minister may give it a miss.
A member of the 1983 cricket World Cup-winning squad, Azad was suspended from the BJP for targeting the then Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over alleged irregularities and corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association in December 2015. He joined the Congress in 2018.
This move comes after Congrees leaders Luizinho Falerio in Goa, Sushmita Dev in Assam and Rajeshpati Tripathi and his son Laliteshpati Tripathi in Uttar Pradesh joined the Trinamool Congress.
In addition to Kirti Azad, the TMC is also expected to welcome former Congress leader Ashok Tanwar, who quit the party in 2019 - just two weeks before the Haryana Assembly elections of 2019.
Tanwar had claimed the Congress was "going through an existential crisis... because serious internal contradictions" and, in February, had launched his own party - Apna Bharat Morcha.
Meanwhile, Banerjee’s visit to the capital is taking place a few days ahead of the winter session of Parliament which is scheduled to begin on November 29. She will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to discuss issues regarding the recent move of centre increasing the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the development of West Bengal during her visit to Delhi.
Post the Trinamool's huge victory in the Bengal elections, Mamata Banerjee has emerged as the guiding force for the opposition to unite against the BJP. She has also emerged as one of the more likely prime ministerial candidates, although she has been quick to refuse such ambitions and play this down.
Since then, the Trinamool has been venturing outside Bengal, with Abhishek Banerjee in Tripura and the Chief Minister campaigning in Goa, which will go to vote the next year.
Azad was elected to the Lok Sabha thrice from Darbhanga in Bihar. He had contested the 2014 general elections on a BJP ticket.
(With PTI Inputs)