Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA and former Biddhannagar mayor Sabyasachi Dutta on Tuesday joined the BJP in the presence of party president Amit Shah and urged him to “solve all the problems of Bengal like Kashmir”.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh handed over the party flag to Dutta at an event in Netaji Indoor Stadium here, while Union Home Minister Shah hugged and welcomed him to the party fold with a scarf.
Dutta said the country and its interests are much bigger than his personal or any party’s interests. “India has achieved new heights under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I would urge Amit Ji to solve all the problems in Bengal like he has done in Kashmir. People here are not happy. Bengal is now becoming a second Pakistan. Please save Bengal and Bengalis. Those who are trying to divide the country have no place in our land. We respect (APJ) Abdul Kalam, but we consider Ajmal Kasab a terrorist,” he said.
Dutta is the sixth TMC MLA and overall ninth across all party lines to join the BJP after this year’s Lok Sabha polls, in which the saffron party won 18 out of a total 42 seats in the state.
Recently, Dutta was at loggerheads with the TMC leadership after he hosted BJP leader Mukul Roy at his residence. In July, Dutta resigned as the mayor of Bidhannagar.
The TMC said it won’t affect the party. “It does not matter who joins the BJP. People are with (Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee. This won’t make an impact,” TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said.
TMC MLA Monirul Islam had joined the BJP post general elections. But he was soon removed from the party following complaints from a larger number of BJP workers.
At present the BJP has six MLAs in West Bengal Legislative Assembly — Manoj Tigga (Madarihat), Swadhin Sarkar (Baishnabnagar), Pawan Singh (Bhatpara), Neeraj Tamang Zimba (Darjeeling), Joyel Murmu (Habibpur) and Ashis Biswas (Krishnaganj).
Despite the defections, the BJP has six MLAs on paper as none of the defected legislators have tendered their resignation from their respective posts.