The internal rift in Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) seems to continue with as many as six party MLAs from Tripura are likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) camp by the last week of July. As per a report by Indian Express, the news comes days after five of these MLAs said that they will support NDA’s pick Ram Nath Kovind for the upcoming Presidential polls. The TMC supremo has even removed Mukul Roy as the TMC incharge in Tripura.
Speaking to Indian Express about TMC legislators extending support to Kovind, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Mrinal Kanti said, “This is a timely decision. Eventually, TMC MLAs have read the writing on the wall in Tripura.” However, Kanti did not comment on whether these MLAs, who shifted to TMC after leaving Congress in 2016, would join the saffron party. Meanwhile, a source has said that the MLAs would join the BJP after July 22. “TMC has six MLAs in Assembly and with all of them joining BJP, there is no question of this falling under the purview of the anti-defection act,” said the source.
If the news is to be believed, this will be for the first time that BJP will have presence in Tripura, as the state moves closer to the 2018 Assembly elections. Even the BJP leaders have said that the party has decided to learn from its mistakes in Bengal.
The CBI, last week, slapped notices to state Social Welfare and Social Education minister Bijita Nath and also questioned the Left leader Gautan Das in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam. However, there were no comments made from any of the BJP leaders here. As the state prepares itself for the Assembly polls in 2018, central agencies have conducted investigation against several TMC leaders that has triggered allegations of political vendetta. Even BJP national president Amit Shah has recently took a pot shot at Bengal CM giving a slogan of ‘Bhaag Mamata Bhaag.’ However, BJP insiders have told Indian Express that this somehow backfired.
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The report also quoted a BJP leader saying, “In east India, this kind of politics doesn’t bode well with people. Politicians tend to avoid personal attacks, especially against people like Manik Sarkar or Mamata Banerjee, who most people continue to believe are honest. The CPM government in Tripura pretends to be for the poor, but does nothing for them. This is what we need to focus on.”