Seven sitting legislators of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), together with distinguished chief Suvendu Adhikari, and three others from the Left and the Congress on Saturday afternoon joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) within the presence of Union house minister Amit Shah at a rally in Midnapore city of West Bengal’s West Midnapore district.
The meeting polls within the state are due in 5 months and the defections might show to be a headache for chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
“Didi (Mamata Banerjee), listen very carefully. Today, I have come to declare that when the election results are announced BJP will get more than 200 seats,” Shah mentioned in a brief however fiery speech. In the night, Shah mentioned election technique at a closed-door assembly in Kolkata. It was attended by BJP leaders from different states as effectively.
Among the 10 MLAs who switched sides, Adhikari is the one one who submitted his resignation to the meeting nevertheless it has not been accepted but on technical grounds. He touched Shah’s toes whereas taking the BJP flag from the Union house minister.
“None of those who left were leaders of significance. The TMC will win the polls without a hitch,” TMC Lok Sabha member Saugata Roy mentioned at the same time as posters calling Adhikari Mir Zafar (the overall who betrayed Bengal’s final impartial nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah on the Battle of Plassey in 1757) appeared in East Midnapore, the insurgent’s house turf. Some workplaces arrange by his followers have been additionally ransacked. Adhikari has been supplied safety by central paramilitary forces.
The TMC’s Burdwan East Lok Sabha MP Sunil Mandal, former minister Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, former Lok Sabha member from north Bengal’s Alipurduar, Dasrath Tirkey, and 15 civic physique councillors of the TMC and different events picked up the BJP flag together with at the least 20 district-level leaders. Significantly, a number of members from Muslim organisations arrange by the TMC additionally joined the BJP.
“Didi, you are talking of switching sides. Didn’t you leave the Congress and form the TMC? Wasn’t it changing allegiance? Now you are accusing Suvendu Bhai of changing sides. Thousands of people are waiting to join the BJP. Just wait and watch,” mentioned Shah.
“Can you see the future of millions of youths who need jobs? You can only see your nephew and want to make him the chief minister,” Shah, who earlier within the day had lunch at a farmer’s house, mentioned, with out naming Abhishek Banerjee, the chief minister’s nephew and Lok Sabha member.
Adhikari too delivered a brief however vitriolic speech.
“You (Mamata Banerjee) will not be number one again. You will be number two. I do not recognise anyone as my mother, except the one who gave birth to me, and my country,” mentioned Adhikari.
Targeting Banerjee and the TMC for branding the BJP’s nationwide leaders as “outsiders,” Adhikari mentioned, “Amit Shah Ji, JP Nadda Ji and the others are being called outsiders. India is one nation. I want Bengal and India to have the same government or else Bengal will not survive. There are no jobs, no progress. We have to ensure Narendra Modi’s government in Bengal.”
Targeting Abhishek Banerjee and calling him a tolabaaj (extortionist), Adhikari raised the slogan, “Tolabaaj bhaipo hatao” (oust the extortionist nephew).
His elder brother Dibyendu Adhikari, the two-time Lok Sabha member from Tamluk constituency in East Midnapore, mentioned, “Joining the BJP was Suvendu’s personal decision. I joined the TMC as I was inspired by Mamata Banerjee. I will remain a part of the party.”
Their father Sisir Adhikari, three-time Lok Sabha member from Kanthi and a part of the TMC since its start in 1998, despatched the same message to the management though he averted the media on Saturday.
Election strategist Prashant Kishor, the proprietor of I-Pac, and Abhishek Banerjee have been cited by all of the rebels as causes for leaving the TMC. Kishor was roped in after the BJP received 18 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019.
Apart from Adhikari, the opposite TMC MLAs who joined the BJP are Shilbhadra Dutta from Barrackpore; Banashri Maiti from the Kanthi North in East Midnapore; Sukra Munda from Nagrakata in Jalpaiguri district; Biswajit Kundu from Kalna in East Burdwan; Saikat Panja from Manteswar in East Burdwan and Dipali Biswas, CPI(M) MLA from Gazole in Malda district. Biswas received the Gazole seat for the CPI(M) in 2016 however later joined the TMC. “TMC did not let me work,” Biswas mentioned.
The lawmakers from different events are Sudip Mukherjee, Congress MLA from Purulia district; Ashok Dinda, Communist Party of India (CPI) MLA from Tamluk; and Tapasi Mandal, CPI(M) legislator from Haldia in East Midnapore district.
“The CPI(M) leaders who joined the BJP were facing internal investigation for various charges,” mentioned CPI(M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra.
Referring the Purulia MLA, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury mentioned, “I had been hearing for a long time that he was planning to leave. Let us see if he can contest the Purulia seat and win it again. It is my challenge.”
Dasrath Tirkey, former Revolutionary Socialist Party MLA who joined the TMC in 2014 and received the Alipurduar Lok Sabha seat, joined the BJP on Saturday. Tirkey misplaced the seat to the BJP’s John Barla in 2019.
Among the others who joined the BJP is retired military colonel Diptangshu Chowdhury, who had stop the BJP in 2017 and joined the TMC. On Thursday, he stepped down from the posts of chairman of the South Bengal State Transport Corporation and adviser to the monitoring cell on programme implementation of presidency welfare companies within the chief minister’s workplace.
TMC Lok Sabha member Kalyan Banerjee mentioned the rally was a “flop show” as individuals have been introduced from a number of districts to refill the faculty floor. “People started to leave even before Shah began to speak,” he mentioned at a press convention on the TMC headquarters in Kolkata.
“You (Adhikari) are driven by greed. What didn’t you get in the TMC? You were a minister with three departments. You held other important portfolios. Your family is in control of two Lok Sabha constituencies and a civic body. You have no right to say that the party did not give you anything,” mentioned Kalyan Banerjee.
On Sunday, Shah may have lunch with the household of a baul singer in Birchum district, the place he’s additionally scheduled to attend a highway present.