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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

BJP MP Arjun Singh returns to Trinamool Congress; huge loss, says saffron party

Singh has been targeting the Centre, alleging that it was neglecting the jute industry of West Bengal. He had softened his attacks against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, keeping the speculation rife about him returning to the TMC.

Written by Sweety Kumari | Kolkata |
Updated: May 22, 2022 7:04:52 pm
Arjun Singh after joining the TMC in Kolkata on Sunday. (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

Days after criticising the Centre over its jute policy and upset over not being able to work freely in Bengal, BJP MP from Barrackpore Arjun Singh returned to the Trinamool Congress on Sunday.

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Singh joined the party in presence of TMC’s National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee at his Camac Street office in Kolkata. After joining the TMC, Singh said: “The way Trinamool Congress is working on the development of Bengal is worth appreciating. I am from the jute mill area and the people there have been suffering because of the Centre’s unjust policies. BJP is limited to Facebook and other social mediums. It is not possible to do politics only on Facebook. Working on the ground is important in Bengal and the BJP is losing out on that as their leaders are sitting in air-conditioned rooms.”

Welcoming him into the party’s fold, Abhishek Banerjee tweeted: “Extending a warm welcome to Shri @ArjunsinghWB, who rejected the divisive forces at @BJP4India and joined the @AITCofficial family today. People across the nation are suffering and they need us now more than ever. Let’s keep the fight alive.”

Arjun Singh left his Bhatpara residence this afternoon and reached a five-star hotel in Alipore. At the same time, TMC’s National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee held a meeting with the party’s leaders of Barrackpore and North 24 Parganas at his Camac Street office. Sources privy to the meeting said that the leaders held long discussions as to whether Singh should be taken back into the fold. The meeting was attended by Barrackpore MLA Raj Chakraborty, Jyoti Priya Mullik and MLA Partha Bhowmik.

“The countdown has started. If I do ghar waapsi you all will come to know. Until it’s officially done, there is no point talking about it. I have been working with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee even before she had formed a party,” Singh had said earlier in the day.

Arjun Singh reaches the office of TMC National General Secretary Abhishekh Banerjee. (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

In a recent interview to The Indian Express, Arjun Singh had blamed poor candidate selection for BJP’s loss in Assembly elections last year.

Reacting on Singh joining the TMC, BJP National Secretary Anupam Hazra said, “If someone wants to do politics for his personal benefit, what can we say about it. However, it is a huge loss.”

“It’s old understanding between the BJP and TMC. Modi’s people will join Didi and Didi’s people will join BJP. All the corrupt people of Didi’s party will eventually return,” Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.

Taking a dig at Arjun Singh, CPI (M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said: “A few months ago, Mamata Banerjee described him as a criminal. He has TMC on his right and BJP on his left and keeps swinging between them.”

Arjun Singh flashes the victory symbol after joining the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata on Sunday. (Express Photo)

Singh has been targeting the Centre, alleging that it was neglecting the jute industry of West Bengal. He had softened his attacks against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, keeping the speculation rife about him returning to the TMC. high about him joining the party. He had even threatened to hit the streets if the issue of jute price capping was not resolved. After meeting several central leaders over the issue in Delhi over the issue. Jute Commissioner had revoked his decision.

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The Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency has a strong presence of Hindi-speaking people who mostly work in the jute mills. Arjun Singh, heavyweight leader of the area was elected to the assembly four times on Trinamool ticket. Before 2019, Lok Sabha election, he joined BJP and defeated heavyweight Dinesh Trivedi in a closely fought contest. Since Lok Sabha polls the Barrackpore constituency witnessed several incidents of violence and fights between supporters of BJP and TMC.

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