Former CPM MP and one of the main accused in the 2007 Nandigram violence case, Lakshman Seth, on Tuesday met state BJP leaders allegedly to discuss the merger of his party Bharat Nirman Party (BNP) with the BJP.
Seth, along with other BNP leaders, met state BJP president Dilip Ghosh and senior leader Jayprakash Majumder. After the meeting, Majumder said: “We discussed the merger process. Seth, along with other BNP leaders, may soon join the BJP.”
Describing Seth as an established politician, he added: “It was only a perception that he was the mastermind behind the Nandigram violence… The CBI, during the UPA reign, had submitted a chargesheet in the case but Seth was not named…”
“Even people like Rezzak Mollah and Siddiqullah Chowdhury, for whom political analysts had predicted doom, had returned to power,” said Majumder.
Seth was expelled from the CPM in March 2014 for “anti-party activities and making attempts to lower the party’s image before the masses”. A day before he was given the boot, he had praised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. In August that year, he had formed BNP.
While Seth plans a political comeback, BJP — through him — wants to make inroads into East Midnapore where the party hardly has had any presence. “Seth has considerable influence in the district, which could be of use to the party,” said a senior BJP leader.