Trinamool vs BJP: The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday rejected the Bharatiya Janata Party’s claim that over 50 of its councillors from Bengal have jumped the ship joining the saffron party. Mamata Banerjee’s party accused the BJP of lying over the defection. TMC said one suspended MLA and six councillors joined the BJP, that too they were forced to switch sides at gunpoint.
“One suspended MLA of Trinamool joined BJP yesterday. The others were from Congress and CPI(M). The number of councillors is 6. That too they were forced at gunpoint to do so,” TMC tweeted while saying that it was doing a ‘fact check’ of BJP’s claims.
Three Bengal MLAs, including BJP leader Mukul Roy’s son Subhrangshu Roy and over 50 municipal councillors were paraded in front of the media by the BJP at its headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday. Other MLAs who joined the BJP are TMC’s Tusharkanti Bhattacharya and CPI(M)’s Debendra Nath Roy. Subhrangshu Roy was suspended by the TMC a few days ago for ‘anti-party activities’.
One suspended MLA of Trinamool joined BJP yesterday. The others were from Congress and CPI(M). The number of councillors is 6. That too they were forced at gunpoint to do so.
— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) May 29, 2019
BJP general secretary and its in-charge for West Bengal Kailash Vijaywargiya told journalists during the TMC leaders’ induction that more leaders from Mamata’s party will be joining the saffron brigade in the coming days. “This is just the beginning. Like elections were held in seven phases in Bengal, more TMC leaders will join the BJP in seven phases in the coming days,” Viyawargiya told reporters with a crowd of new joinees standing behind him.
Vijaywargiya also pointed out that during one of his election speeches in Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that over 40 TMC MLAs are in touch with the BJP and many regional party leaders are feeling suffocated due to Banerjee’s ‘dictatorial functioning.’
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“We want her government to continue till 2021, but if it falls due to her doings, then we cannot help it,” Vijaywargiya added hinting at a possibility of early state election in West Bengal.
Responding to a question about Mamata’s statement that she wanted to resign as TMC chief following the party’s mediocre performance in the Lok Sabha election, Mukul Roy, who was once confidant of the Bengal CM, mocked her calling it a ‘drama’. The BJP won 18, while the TMC bagged 22 seats of 42 seats in the just concluded Lok Sabha election. The TMC had won 34 seats in 2014.
“She will stick to her chair at all costs till people decide to remove her,” Roy said. He said the TMC would struggle to get the status of opposition party in the 2021 Assembly polls.