Defection of 2 TMC MLAs, dozens of MLCs to BJP deals blow to Mamata

Updated: May 30, 2019, 09:36 IST | Agencies

Trinamool Congress says the defectors are like 'rats who abandon a ship sensing danger'

Defection of 2 TMC MLAs, dozens of MLCs to BJP deals blow to Mamata
BJP leaders Kailash Vijaivargiya and Mukul Roy join hands with two TMC and one CPM legislator who joined BJP along with the councillors in New Delhi on Tuesday. Pic/PTI

New Delhi: 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 saffron party Tuesday as it works to consolidate its position in the state following its impressive show there in Lok Sabha polls.

The MLAs who joined the BJP at a press conference are TMC's Tusharkanti Bhattacharya and CPI(M)'s Debendra Nath Roy, besides Roy who was suspended from the state's ruling party for "anti-party" activities after the general elections results were announced. BJP general secretary and its in-charge for the state affairs Kailash Vijaywargiya and Mukul Roy told reporters that more MLAs from the TMC, which is headed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, will join the saffron party in the coming days.

Mukul, once Banerjee's confidant, also mocked the CM over her claims that she wanted to resign following her party's less than expected show in the general elections, saying it is a "drama". "She will stick to her chair at all costs 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 the TMC to join the BJP. Many more will join in the coming weeks," Mukul said.

With over 50 councillors joining the BJP, the party has got a majority in at least three municipal councils. Vijaywargiya said 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.

TMC likens defectors to rats
The TMC has likened its MLAs who have joined the BJP to "rats abandoning a ship sensing danger" and said people will give them a befitting reply. A senior TMC leader said, "We will expel them from the party. We are not bothered about such opportunists." "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," said TMC leader Firhad Hakim.

50
Approximate no. of MLCs who joined BJP

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