The West Bengal BJP received another shot in the arm on Wednesday after former MLA and Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien’s brother Barry O’Brien joined the party alongwith his wife.
Barry said it was the leadership quality of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that helped him finalise his decision.
“I have never seen before a Prime Minister like Narendra Modi, who reached out to SAARC leaders, including Pakistan just a day after his swearing-in. Soon after assuming office, Modi had formed an SIT on black money, an issue which was much deliberated by others but nothing was done. He has the pulse of the nation,” Barry said.
Barry a noted quiz master and a motivational speaker, who was a nominated a member of the state Assembly representing the Anglo-Indian community between 2006-11 during the Left Front regime, was known for his close affinity with the CPM. To a query on his switching the political loyalty, Barry said, “I have good friends in all the political parties.”
On being asked about his decision to join BJP after polls, Barry said he had told state BJP president Rahul Sinha that he would join the party only after the Lok Sabha election.
On political differences with his brother Derek, he said, “our political ideologies are different, but I don’t think that will ever affect our (personal) relationship should be affected because of that.”
His wife Denise, as per Barry’s website, heads the finance department in Heritage Resources Private Ltd and is an active social worker.
The website says she “works at the grass-root level for the welfare of the Anglo-Indian community”.
Besides Barry, others who joined the party were footballer Sasthi Duley and market expert Siddhartha Chatterjee who is also famous for playing the role of ‘Topshe’ in Satyajit Ray’s ‘Feluda’ films.
State BJP president Rahul Sinha told a press conference that many such eminent persons were queuing up to join the party. He also criticised the state organised gala celebrations for Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens. “None of the players in the winning team were from Bengal. The state government claims to cash-strapped but is indulging in such festivities. It can be summed up as profligacy and would add to the debt burden,” he said.
Sinha also said that the state education minister’s decision to do away with online admission to colleges would lead to a spurt in corrupt practices. The youth wing of BJP would put up demonstrations in front of the education minister’s office at Bikash Bhavan on June 6 he said.