Trinamool MLAs, councillors reach Delhi to join BJP

Kolkata: In what is bad news for West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress after its setback in the Lok Sabha elections, at least four MLAs and a host of municipal councillors are set to join the BJP on Tuesday afternoon.

Led by BJP leader Mukul Roy’s son Subhrangshu, who was suspended by the Trinamool for six years for “demeaning the party”, a large number of MLAs and councillors reached Delhi where they would be drafted into the BJP in the presence of Party President Amit Shah.

Subhrangshu was accompanied by around 18 councillors of Halishahar, 17 of Naihati and 14 of Kanchrapara areas, Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) sources said.

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Once they switch allegiance, the Trinamool could lose control of all three municipalities.

A beaming Mukul Roy claimed in Delhi that the saffron outfit could take control of up to 60 municipalities in the near future.

“I feel in the next two-three months the BJP will wrest 55-60 municipalities in the state,” he said.

Besides the councillors, two MLAs – Gautam Das of Gangarampur and Tusharkanti Bhattacharya of Bishnupur – who had earlier joined the Trinamool are also likely to cross over to the saffron camp.

Confirming the development, Bhattacharya, who has already reached Delhi, said: “I have heard around four MLAs are joining the BJP today.”

BJP’s newly-elected Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh, who deserted the Trinamool after being denied ticket from the constituency, has seemingly played a key role in engineering the defections.

Singh’s relative and Trinamool MLA from Noapara Sunil Singh is also believed to have travelled to Delhi and would also join the BJP.

BJP sources claimed that CPI-M MLA from Hemtabad Debendra Nath Roy would also join its fold during the day. A CPI-M source confirmed that Roy has indeed gone to Delhi in his bid to switch sides.

During the Lok Sabha campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah and other BJP leaders had claimed that around 100 Trinamool MLAs could join the BJP once the general election got over. Modi had even said that 40 Trinamool legislators were in touch with him.

The BJP came up with a stunning performance capturing 18 of the state’s 42 seats in the just concluded elections, as against only two it won five years back.

The Trinamool, which had bagged a whopping 34 seats in 2014, saw its tally plunging to 22.

The Congress seat count was halved to two from four while the CPI-M failed to open its account. The Marxists had triumphed in two seats in 2014.


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