Senior Congress leader Pradip Ghosh on Sunday officially joined the BJP saying he “did not believe Congress was string enough anymore to stop the Trinamool Congress”.
The veteran leader said: “I did not like the way the new state Congress president dissolved the committees. I felt disrespected. Ethics have touched such rock bottom in the party now that at meetings, workers often break into a fight. Such instances were seen in the last two meetings”.
Ghosh said he felt “a responsibility” for the Congress party during the time of Lok Sabha elections, which is why he did not “abandon” his party then. “But now, there are many like me who are waiting to join the BJP,” he said, taking names of places like Asansol and Gaighata of Burdwan and North 24 Parganas district, respectively.
Interestingly, several regional Congress leaders, too, have joined the BJP along with Ghosh. On the “communal” image of the BJP, Ghosh said he had been “hearing it for decades”. “If that was the case, why did not the ruling party or the Election Commission ever ban the BJP on the grounds of being communal?” the leader asked.
Although Ghosh said he has not joined the BJP for any post as such, state BJP president Rahul Sinha spoke of “identify(ing) dedicated workers and then reward(ing) them accordingly”.
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Confirming the defection, the Congress, however, appeared not to put any “importance” to Ghosh’s decision, with senior leader Pradeep Bhattacharya expressing “no surprise”.
“There will be no impact on the 28 blocks of Congress across the state. Ghosh has a history of defection and we are not surprised. I would not have even realised it if the media persons hadn’t asked me about him,” Bhattacharya said.
Meanwhile, the state BJP has decided to launch the Bangla Bachao rally on June 23, which marks the death anniversary of Dr Shyamaparasad Mookerjee. The rally, said Sinha, would start from College Square at 3 pm and reach to Rani Rashmoni Square. The rally would be attended by the two BJP MPs – Babul Supriyo and S S Ahluwalia – besides other senior BJP leaders.