West Bengal MPs Arjun Singh, Dibyendu Adhikari join BJP

Dibyendu Adhikari won Tamluk in 2019, and in December 2020, his brother Suvendu Adhikari joined the BJP.

New Delhi: Two MPs from West Bengal — Arjun Singh and Dibyendu Adhikari — joined the Bharatiya Janata Party here on Friday, saying that they were upset with the Sandeshkhali incidents.

Singh represents West Bengal’s Barrackpur in the Lok Sabha and Dibyendu Adhikari the Tamluk constituency, which he had won a Trinamool Congress (TMC) ticket in 2019.

They joined the BJP at its headquarters here in the presence of party national general secretary Dushyant Gautam and West Bengal co-in-charge Amit Malviya, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

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Singh, who had earlier joined the BJP in 2019 after quitting the TMC and defeated the then-TMC candidate from the Barrackpur seat, had returned to the TMC again in 2022 even as he remained a BJP MP on Parliament record.

Dibyendu Adhikari won Tamluk in 2019, and in December 2020, his brother Suvendu Adhikari joined the BJP.

Singh had announced that he was leaving the TMC days after being dropped from the Mamata Banerjee-led party’s list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls.

“The way post-poll political violence had happened in West Bengal… our area was the worst hit,” Singh said, referring to the violence in the state following the 2019 parliamentary elections.

In a veiled attack on the TMC, he said that “to save workers, I had to keep some distance from the party (BJP) for some days”.

“The TMC wants to remain in power (in West Bengal) by using police and goons, and Sandeshkhali is the latest example. In the whole border area (with Bangladesh), people are living in the same situation as in Sandeshkhali,” he said.

The Sandeshkhali region of West Bengal, located on the fringes of the Sunderbans, has been engulfed in turmoil for over a month due to accusations against TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his associates of sexual abuse and land usurpation.

“I thank the BJP family. Though I was away from the BJP for a while, after the Sandeshkhali incident, I felt agitated and contacted it saying I cannot sit quietly and want to join the BJP again,” Singh said.

Dibyendu Adhikari thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president JP Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah and other party leaders and said he will work on the ground as a BJP worker.

“Following the ideals of Narendra Modi, I am joining the BJP,” he said and added that “as a party worker, I will make all efforts to ensure the BJP gets more than 400 seats in the Lok Sabha”.

Referring to the Sandeshkhali incident, Adhikari said, “We worship Durga, what has happened in Sandeshkhali against women, there are no words to condemn it. It is not just an issue of Bengal, it is a national issue.”

“No political party could reach there (the area) except the BJP…” he said.

Following their joining, BJP national general secretary Gautam said the BJP’s graph is rising. “Members from many parties are joining the BJP all around the country at all levels,” he said.

Malviya said Singh is a BJP MP and is welcomed back in the party.

“It is clear that in West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has failed in providing leadership. The way Sandeshkhali has been in news, the way women were targeted, the two MPs have joined the BJP because they are hurt by the incidents,” Malviya said.

“Besides the kind of corruption visible in Bengal, the CM and her close associates are indulging in corruption. Many ministers are in jail, Mamata Banerjee’s relatives are under investigation in various matters… The lawlessness in West Bengal is not seen anywhere else in the country,” he said.

West Bengal wants change, that is why many leaders from the state want to join the BJP, he added.

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