BJP makes another dent in TMC, poaches two MLAs

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee likely to attend swearing-in ceremony of the Modi ministry tomorrow.

Kailash Vijayvargiya welcomes Mukul Roy’s son Subhranshu in BJP along with other Trinamool leaders in New Delhi on Tuesday.
NEW DELHI: Less than a week after BJP won an unprecedented 18 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, the party further breached CM Mamata Banerjee’s citadel by poaching two MLAs, including son of former Union minister Mukul Roy, and 52 corporators from her Trinamool Congress.

BJP general secretary incharge of West Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy, once a close associate of Banerjee and a founding member of Trinamool Congress, on Tuesday ushered the latter’s son Subhranshu, TMC MLA Tusharkanti Bhattacharya and CPM MLA Devendra Roy into the party at BJP headquarters in Delhi.

TMC had suspended Subhranshu for six years on May 24, a day after the Lok Sabha results were announced. He had won the assembly elections twice from Bijpur seat in North 24 Parganas on a TMC ticket.

Besides them, 52 corporators also joined BJP, which may impact the equations in two municipalities. After joining BJP in 2017, Roy was instrumental in poaching several TMC leaders. Some of them were fielded by BJP in the Lok Sabha polls and are among the 18 winners.

Vijayvargiya said more TMC leaders will join BJP in the coming days, and that the party will come to power in the state after the 2021 elections. With CPM on decline, many of its former activists have shed ideological disparity with BJP and are supporting it to throw out TMC, political observers said.

BJP plans to poach more popular leaders from TMC and CPM. The 52 corporators who have joined the party belong to Kanchrapara, Halishahar and Naihati municipalities of North 24 Parganas district.

BJP has made inroads in north, central and eastern Bengal as well as the region bordering Jharkhand. The party had won only two seats in the state in 2014. Banerjee is likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Modi Cabinet on Thursday.
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