Updated: February 3, 2021 8:13:30 am
The BJP on Tuesday said that it has decided to put a stop on “mass joinings” of leaders from the Trinamool Congress, saying the party “doesn’t want to become the B team of the ruling party. The party from now on will go for “selective” inductions that too after consultations with the local leadership, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said.
The party announced it on a day when one more Trinamool MLA – Dipak Haldar of Diamond Harbour – joined the party, a day after quitting the ruling party.
“We don’t want the BJP to turn into the B team of the Trinamool. We don’t want Trinamool leaders who do not have a clean image or are involved in illegal activities to join our party. Therefore, we do not want to conduct mass joinings anymore. From now on, there will be selective joinings after scrutiny,” Vijayvargiya said.
Sources in the party said the decision to stop the induction of Trinamool leaders stems from the growing resentment within the saffron party. They said that the “old guard” in the party are unhappy with the importance given to the TMC turncoats, who have joined the BJP in the past few months. Even the RSS leaders in the state had earlier expressed their reservations on TMC leaders joining the BJP in hordes.
Since the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has inducted 18 MLAs and an MP of the Trinamool Congress, three MLAs each from the CPI(M) and the Congress, and one MLA from the CPI.
“In many cases, the district leadership is not happy with the mass inductions. It has led to infighting and the matter has not gone down well with the central leadership… The party is working on a mechanism for leaders and cadres of other parties who want to switch over,” PTI quoted a senior BJP leader as saying.
Meanwhile, Diamond Harbour MLA Dipak Haldar was inducted into the party by BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari at a public meeting in Baruipur in South 24 Parganas district. The two-time MLA joined the party along with several TMC leaders and workers from Diamond Harbour, which comes under the parliamentary constituency of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
On Monday, Haldar quit the ruling party, accusing its leadership of not allowing him to work for people. He also alleged that the party harassed his family.
He had recently skipped a public rally by Abhishek Banerjee, raising speculation about his political aspirations.
Except for former ministers Suvendu Adhikari and Rajib Banerjee, none of the MLAs have resigned from the Assembly.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly are likely to be held in April-May.
Crosshead BJP has lost the plot: TMC
Reacting to the BJP’s decision, the Trinamool Congress said it reflected that the party has lost the plot in Bengal. “The BJP neither has leaders nor has a face in Bengal. So, it was poaching leaders from other parties… It has led to infighting within the party. The BJP has lost the plot ahead of the elections,” TMC spokesperson Sougata Roy said.”
On Haldar joining the BJP, senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim said, “These are some of the leaders who were dissatisfied persons. They have defected to the BJP for gains.”
(With PTI inputs)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines