August 30, 2021 3:40:35 am
Several heavyweight Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders who defected to the BJP in the run-up to this year’s Assembly elections may return to the ruling party before Durga Puja, sources have said.
After Mukul Roy, some of the names of BJP leaders Rajib Banerjee, Sonali Guha, and former footballer-turned-politician Dipendu Biswas are doing the rounds.
A senior TMC leader said earlier this week, “Initially, Abhishek Banerjee was hard on the turncoats.
However, he has softened his stance since, and we expect many of these leaders to return before Durga Puja.”
A Cabinet minister in the previous TMC government, Rajib Banerjee joined the BJP ahead of the state polls in the hope of getting more recognition in the saffron camp. However, the electoral loss from his constituency Domjur forced Banerjee into a rethink. Last week, he took to Facebook to criticise the saffron party and even skipped a key party meeting chaired by state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh.
TMC strongman Sabyasachi Dutta who joined the BJP in 2019 in the wake of the Opposition party’s massive gains in the last Lok Sabha elections was, however, seen at the party’s organisational meeting last week.
Dutta said, “The Trinamool did good micro-management at the booth level, while our supporters could not reach thousands of voters at each booth. Though our manifesto was good, we could not communicate it to the locals. I feel the local language barrier posed a problem for BJP supporters, especially when it came to translating the manifesto from Hindi to Bengali.”
A known confidante of Mamata Banerjee, Sonali Guha is a four-time MLA from Satgachhia in South 24 Parganas. She quit the TMC after being denied a ticket in the last election. However, in an open letter to Mamata Banerjee a few weeks after the poll results were declared, Guha regretted her move, writing, “The way a fish cannot stay out of water, I will not be able to live without you, Didi. I seek your forgiveness and if you don’t forgive me, I won’t be able to live. Please allow me to come back and spend the rest of my life in your affection.”
According to sources in the TMC, the likes of Dipendu Biswas, Prabir Ghoshal, and several others have been in touch with the party leadership in the hope of a comeback.
The senior TMC leader said, “Many leaders, who joined the BJP, may return but they will have to come back on our terms. We are ready to accept all the workers who wish to return from the BJP.”
The saffron party, meanwhile, is said to be worried as thousands of its cadre have returned to the Trinamool, causing it to lose ground in many districts. The BJP fears the exit of heavyweights such as Dutta and Banerjee in such a situation will further weaken it.
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