Actor turned politician Mithun Chakraborty on Wednesday claimed that the BJP in Bengal is in touch with 38 Trinamool Congress legislators, out of which 21 MLAs are in direct contact with him. Addressing a press conference in Kolkata, Chakraborty said, “Do you want to hear breaking news? At this moment, 38 TMC MLAs have very good relations with us, out of which 21 are in direct (contact with me).”
Chakraborty was visiting the BJP office in Kolkata when he was quizzed by journalists about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s recent statement at the Martyrs’ Day rally claiming that the BJP won’t come to power at the Centre in 2024. Reacting to this, Chakraborty said that many TMC MPs are also in touch with the BJP. “We have 18 MPs with us. We are in touch with four more.”
Since the Uddhav Thackeray government fell last month, BJP’s ‘Operation Lotus’ has gained traction among the Bengal party leaders. Earlier, Leader of Opposition in Bengal, BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari had said, “After Maharashtra, BJP will form government in Rajasthan, Bengal and Telangana where appeasement politics is rampant. By 2024, BJP will form government even in these places.” However, CM Banerjee has warned the BJP that such tactics won’t work in Bengal.
Chakraborty has claimed that there is no certainty as to what could happen next in politics. “One day I woke up and saw that the Shiv Sena is again with the BJP. No one can say what will happen next.” When asked if the TMC government will fall before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Chakraborty said, “When we make movies, first we shoot the music videos. Then we release the music, and subsequently, the trailer. Today, I released the music. Trailer abhi baaki hai (The trailer is still left),” said Chakraborty.
However, the BJP faces an uphill task in Bengal. Since losing the 2021 Assembly elections to TMC, the party has already lost seven out of 77 legislators. On a recent visit to the state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had asked the state leadership to reconnect with the people at the grassroots level and reduce their dependence on the central leadership. “Don’t expect CBI, ED to fight your battles for you,” the Home minister is learnt to have told leaders of the Bengal BJP.
Dismissing Chakraborty’s claims, Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said, “Mithun Chakraborty’s dialogue is a habit. I think he gave the dialogue of the movie. It has nothing to do with reality. Mithun might be giving a dialogue from a flop movie or MLA Phatakester (a Bengali movie).”