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‘To address more pressing issues’, BJP puts on hold joining of TMC defectors

A source said that apart from some frontline TMC leaders, many Congress, RSP leaders were slated to join BJP

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Updated: January 20, 2015 3:57:53 am

A day ahead of BJP national president Amit Shah’s Burdwan rally, state BJP president Rahul Sinha brushed aside all possibilities of new entrants joining the party.

“There were talks of many big names defecting from TMC to join BJP but we felt there were other important issues at hand that needed to be addressed first. For now it (defection of TMC leaders) may have been postponed, but don’t worry…what began with bringing in one TMC minister will continue with many top leaders of the party switching over to BJP in the near future,” he said at a press conference on Monday.

A BJP district leader said that apart from some frontline TMC leaders, many from Congress and RSP, too, were slated to join BJP.

Shah is scheduled to arrive at 9am and would head to Burdwan from the airport. He would be accompanied by national secretary Siddarth Nath Singh.

Shah will first attend a meeting at the Burdwan Sanskriti Lokmanch near Curzon Gate at 11 am. “He would meet all the 36 district
presidents, general secretaries, members of the state working committee and a few special invitees,including newly-inducted actor Roopa Ganguly and former Indian footballer Kalyan Chaubey,” said party general secretary Ashim Sarkar.

He added that there would hardly be any time for an interaction so Shah would quickly chalk out a roadmap for district units, regarding the forthcoming municipal elections and assembly elections next year.

Shah would also hold talks with district leaders on how to step up the ongoing membership drive, Sarkar said.

Around 1.30 pm, Shah would set off for Chowringhee Club Ground, the venue for the public rally on Tuesday where over one lakh people are expected to turn up, he said. Also present at the rally would be BJP national vice-president Dinesh Sharma, MPs S S Ahluwalia and Babul Supriyo and MLA Shamik Bhattacharya.

It is learnt that the last year’s Burdwan explosion and the alleged involvement of TMC heavyweights in the multi-crore Saradha ponzi scam would be the focus of Shah’s speech at the rally.

Shah would return to Kolkata after the two-hour-long rally and leave for New Delhi on Thursday. “He was supposed to address a press conference before leaving but that has been called off,” Sinha informed.

Debi Prasad Mallick, BJP’s Burdwan district president, who is overseeing the rally preparations, alleged the TMC supporters have gone all out to mar the BJP rally. “They are tearing off our posters and flex, threatening our supporters and beating up our workers,” he claimed.

Debi Prasad’ TMC counterpart, Swapan Mullick, rejected the allegations and said that the BJP workers were spreading these rumours because they apprehend the crowd would not be up to the mark and they were preparing a ground to put up a theory for the poor turnout. “We are busy preparing for our meeting on January 21 (Thursday) here,” he said.

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