BJP MLA from Kaliaganj Soumen Roy today joined the Mamata Banerjee-led ruling TMC in presence of state minister and party leader Partha Chatterjee. Roy joined the TMC in Kolkata. Roy, a former TMC turncoat who joined the BJP ahead of assembly polls, offered his apology for not being with the TMC in the last few months. Speaking to reporters after jumping the ship, Roy said, “I had to contest from Kaliaganj on the BJP ticket due to some circumstances. But my soul and heart belong to TMC. I joined the party again to support CM Mamata Banerjee’s efforts. I am apologetic to party for the time I was not here,” said Soumen Roy. Notably, Roy was in the TMC before joining the BJP earlier this year and now has returned to his parent party. With this, he has become the fourth TMC turncoat who won the BJP ticket and now has returned to the ruling party.
When the campaigning for the West Bengal Assembly Election was in its full momentum, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had claimed that the BJP will win 200 seats while Mamata Banerjee had said that the TMC will win 221 seats as the election year is 2021. The BJP had bagged 77 seats while the TMC has got 213 seats. Two of the BJP MLA who are also Members of Parliament had resigned from assembly bringing down the saffron party’s tally to 75. With four MLAs jumping the ship, the TMC’s tally has risen to 217 while the BJP has come down to 71. The Election Commission has today announced bypolls dates for three assembly constituencies of Bengal including Mamata Banerjee’s seat Bhabanipur. If the TMC manages to win these three seats, its tally will go up to 220, near Mamata Banerjee’s projected figure of 221. It is being speculated that more BJP MLAs may join the TMC in the coming days. If that happens, the TMC will easily accomplish its ‘Mission 221’.
Notably, Mukul Roy was the first TMC turncoat to shun the BJP after Bengal assembly poll results were announced in May this year. Roy’s return to the TMC appears to have opened the floodgates for the return of legislators who had jumped ship and joined the BJP in the run-up to Bengal polls. Last week, BJP MLA from Bagda, Biswajit Das rejoined the TMC. Das had earlier won assembly polls twice on the TMC ticket. Before Das, another TMC turncoat Tanmoy Ghosh, who won on a BJP ticket from the Bishnupur constituency, had returned to the TMC.
The polls were held for 292 seats out of the 294 as two candidates had died during the election.