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Thursday, August 05, 2021

BJP workers take to streets with public apology; Rajib meets Trinamool leader

The BJP, however, alleged that the TMC's “intimidation” tactics were behind its workers' public apologies.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: June 13, 2021 6:43:16 pm
E-rickshaws with public announcement systems atop to declare that they had “misunderstood” the BJP. (Express Photo)

Like many TMC rebels’ feelers to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to facilitate their return, the BJP’s grassroots workers have now taken to the street to express their remorse for backing the saffron party in the Assembly polls. With public announcement systems atop e-rickshaws, they are declaring that they “misunderstood” the BJP — from Labhpur, Bolpur and Sainthia in Birbhum district to Dhaniakhali in Hooghly district.

The BJP, however, alleged that the TMC “intimidation” tactics were behind its workers’ public apologies.

Meanwhile, a day after BJP’s former national vice-president Mukul Roy returned to TMC, former state minister Rajib Banerjee’s meeting with a Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh on Saturday fuelled speculation of his re-entry to the party. But the former minister, who lost the Domjur Assembly seat on a BJP ticket, termed it a courtesy call and defended his recent social media post criticising BJP.

“I came to North Kolkata to meet an ailing relative. Since Kunal Ghosh, my senior brother and a long time friend, resided nearby, I called him up and met him… There was no political discussion,” said Banerjee. “I have some reservations about certain issues. I stand by it and have already told my party about it.”

Even as the BJP and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar have been attacking the state government for allegedly orchestrating post-poll violence targeting party workers, BJP workers are now apologising to the TMC in public meetings.

In Bolpur’s ward no 18, a public announcement system proclaimed, “We were persuaded by the BJP. It is a fraudulent party. We have no alternative to Hon’ble CM Mamata Banerjee, and we want to be part of her development programme.”

Mukul Mandal, a BJP worker, said, “I misunderstood the BJP. We want to join the TMC.”

In Sainthia, a group of 300 BJP workers returned to the TMC fold after taking oath. “We had gone to the BJP by mistake. We are joining the TMC from today to support Mamata Banerjee’s development work.” One of them was former BJP Youth Morcha Mandal president Tapas Saha. “I could not do anything in the BJP. I am joining the TMC to participate in development,” he said.

Several BJP workers in Dhaniakhali were allowed to start a new innings after they publicly said sorry to TMC activists for their “arrogant behaviour”. Hooghly BJP leaders claimed their workers were forced to join the TMC.

Meanwhile, one of Roy’s aides resigned from his party post while another supported the former BJP national vice-president’s exit.

Known to be close to Roy, BJP’s Bongaon vice-president (organisational) Tapan Sinha submitted his resignation from the post. “After the elections there was violence. As a party leader, I could not do anything to help workers… I do not want to blame anyone…”

BJP’s Bagda MLA Biswajit Das, a TMC rebel, on Friday skipped an organisational meeting in North 24 Parganas chaired by state president Dilip Ghosh.

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