Three West Bengal MLAs, including BJP leader Mukul Roy’s son Subhrangshu Roy, and over 50 municipal councillors, most of them from the Trinamool Congress, joined the BJP on Tuesday. This consolidates BJP’s position in the state following its impressive show in the Lok Sabha polls.
Apart from Subhrangshu Roy, the other two MLAs who joined the BJP are TMC’s Tusharkanti Bhattacharya and CPI(M)’s Debendra Nath Roy. Roy who was suspended by the TMC for “anti-party” activities after the general elections results were announced on May 23.
BJP general secretary and its in-charge for the state affairs Kailash Vijaywargiya and Mukul Roy told reporters that more MLAs from the TMC were scheduled to join the saffron party in the near future.
Mukul Roy, once Mamata Banerjee’s confidant before falling out with her and joining the BJP in 2017, also mocked the chief minister over her claims that she wanted to resign following her party’s less than expected show in the general elections. He called it “drama”.
“She will stick to her chair at all cost till people decide to remove her,” he said, claiming that in the assembly polls, which are due in 2021, her party will struggle to emerge to get the status of the opposition party.
The TMC had won 211 of the assembly’s 294 seats in 2016. The BJP had won only three seats, but has since emerged as the principal challenger to her.
“People are fleeing TMC to join the BJP. Many more will join in the coming weeks,” Roy said.
With over 50 councillors joining the BJP, the party has got a majority in at least three municipal councils.
In the Lok Sabha polls, the TMC’s tally fell to 22 seats from 34, while the BJP’s zoomed to 18 from two.
Vijaywargiya noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in a speech during his campaign 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.
“We want her government to continue till 2021, but if it falls due to her doings, then we cannot help it,” he said in a swipe at her.
Mukul Roy also rejected TMC’s claim that the BJP was practising horse-trading by luring its leaders.
Many MLAs of other parties, including the Congress, have joined the TMC due to “horse-trading”, he countered.
Mukul Roy is seen to be instrumental in engineering the defection of TMC leaders to the BJP and, political watchers believe, he is one of the key architects of the party’s best ever Lok Sabha election show in the state, where Banerjee is in power since 2011.
(With inputs from PTI)