West Bengal Election 2021: TMC faced a fresh bout of defections weeks before the West Bengal Assembly Elections as five of its sitting MLAs crossed over to the BJP yesterday.
West Bengal Election 2021: With Sarla Murmu, at least 23 TMC members of Malda District Council also shifted sides with the BJP reducing the TMC to a minority in the council.
West Bengal Election Date 2021: Mamata Banerjee-led TMC appears to be sinking deeper into turmoil with members continuing to defect to the BJP weeks before polls begin. The West Bengal Chief Minister had already announced TMC’s list of candidates for the 294-member assembly and this has left many sitting MLAs disgruntled as they were not given poll tickets this time. Many of them have now switched sides to the BJP and if reports are to be believed, many others may leave the party in the coming days.
Yesterday, the TMC faced a fresh bout of defections weeks before the West Bengal Assembly Elections as five of its sitting MLAs crossed over to the saffron party after being denied tickets. Sonali Guha, MLA from Satgachia constituency who had broken down publicly after her name was dropped from the TMC candidate list, yesterday quit TMC to join the BJP. Guha had won four consecutive elections on the TMC ticket and was a close associate of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. She is also the former deputy speaker of the West Bengal Assembly.
The TMC’s decision to not field candidates over 80 years due to COVID-19 made it lose one of the senior leaders and a prominent face of the Singur anti-farmland acquisition movement to the BJP. 80-year-old Rabindra Bhattacharya pleaded his allegiance to the BJP. With Bhattacharya joining the saffron camp, the TMC has now lost two pillars of the Singur and Nandigram anti-land acquisition movement to the BJP. The former close aide of Banerjee and face of the Nandigram movement, Suvendu Adhikari had already joined the BJP in December last year along with 35 TMC leaders which included five MLAs and an MP.
Another senior leader and four-time MLA, 85-year-old Jatu Lahiri left the TMC to join the saffron camp. Former footballer and first-time MLA Dipendu Biswas also crossed over to the BJP.
Sitting TMC MLA from Sankrail (Howrah district) Sital Sardar joined the saffron party yesterday. In a sudden turn of events, the TMC last morning announced replacing its Habibpur candidate and sitting MLA Sarala Murmu citing her ‘ill-health’. The party gave the ticket to Pradeep Baskey from the seat. However, Murmu later joined the BJP. According to reports, Sarla Murmu wanted to contest from Old Malda seat and was upset after being fielded from Habibpur.
While the latest spate of defection may prove beneficial for the BJP, TMC leader Sougata Roy criticised the defectors saying they are power-hungry and lack moral values. Meanwhile. another Bengali actor Tanusree Chakraborty joined the BJP.
With Sarla Murmu, at least 23 TMC members of Malda District Council also shifted sides to the BJP reducing the TMC to a minority in the council. With this, the BJP has also gained control of the Malda District Council.
The election in West Bengal will be held in eight phases starting March 27. The last phase of polling will be held on April 29. The counting of votes will be held on May 2.