New Delhi: Days after the Bharatiya Janata Party breached the Trinamool (TMC) fortress in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suffered a big jolt as two of her party’s MLAs and over 50 councillors joined hands with the BJP. Besides, TMC MLAs Subhrangshu Roy (Son of BJP leader Mukul Roy) and Tusharkanti Bhattacharya, CPI(M)’s Debendra Nath Roy also defected to the saffron party in presence of senior leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Subhrangshu Roy was suspended by the TMC for his “anti-party” activities after the Lok Sabha election results were announced. “Now, I will breath freely. Many in the TMC feel suffocated,” Roy had said after getting suspended. He had claimed that several others from the party will “follow his footsteps”.
(Overall coverage on Lok Sabha elections 2019)
‘It’s Just The Beginning’
Speaking to reporters BJP general secretary and its in-charge for the state affairs Kailash Vijaywargiya and Mukul Roy reminded the warning PM Modi had given to the Trinamool supremo during general elections campaign. “Like the elections were held in seven phases in West Bengal, joinings in BJP will also happen in seven phases. Today was just the first phase,” claimed Vijayvargiya.
On April 29, while addressing an election rally in West Bengal’s Sreerampur, PM Modi had said,”Didi, Dilli door hai (Delhi is far away for you). On May 23 when the results will come, lotus will bloom everywhere and your MLAs will desert you. Even today, didi, 40 of your MLAs are in contact with me. Political ground has slipped from under your feet.”
‘Rats Abandoning a Ship Sensing Danger’
Meanwhile, the TMC likened its MLAs who have joined the BJP to ‘rats abandoning a ship sensing danger’. A senior TMC leader said, “We will expel them from the party. Subhrangshu is already under suspension. We are not bothered about such opportunists. People will give them a befitting reply.
“If some of the leaders join the BJP just because it has won a few seats, they are nothing, but rats who abandon a ship sensing danger. It is good that they have left our party,” senior TMC leader and minister Firhad Hakim said.
Who Engineered Defections?
Mukul Roy, once considered to be the close aide of TMC supremo Mamta is seen to be instrumental in engineering the defection of Trinamool leaders to the BJP. Political analysts believe that Roy is one of the key architects of the party’s best ever show in West Bengal, where Banerjee is in power since 2011.
‘BJP Storms Into Mamata’s Citadel’
However, on May 23, when the results of general elections were announced, BJP broke into the TMC citadel bagging 18 seats, 16 more than it won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The ruling Trinamool won 22 seats of the total 42 whereas Congress got 0 and Left parties drew a blank.