Updated: May 29, 2019 9:25:40 pm
A day after three Trinamool Congress lagislators and over 60 councillors joined the BJP, four more TMC leaders joined the saffron party Wednesday in the presence of BJP West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya and senior party leader Mukul Roy.
TMC MLA Manirul Islam and party leaders Gadadhar Hazra, Mohd Asif Iqbal and Nimai Das joined the BJP at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi. On Tuesday, 3 Bengal MLAs and over 60 councillors had joined the BJP after its impressive show in the Lok Sabha elections in the state, where it won 18 Lok Sabha seats, only four less than TMC’s 22.
Six legislators of the Trinamool Congress, along with a few former MPs of the party are also likely to join the BJP in the next few days, PTI reported quoting BJP sources. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy had yesterday said more MLAs from the TMC will join the BJP in the coming days.
Vijayvargiya recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an election speech in the state, had said that over 40 TMC legislators were in touch with the BJP. He said many regional party leaders are feeling suffocated due to Banerjee’s “dictatorial” functioning.
With the councillors switching loyalties, the BJP has seized control of Naihati, Halisahar and Kanchrapara municipalities and is set to capture Bhatpara too in the North 24 Parganas.
In the TMC camp, efforts were underway to stem the exodus of party leaders. The North 24 Parganas district TMC leadership, led by its president Jyotipriya Mullick, held a meeting Tuesday with functionaries of other municipalities and party MLAs to plan a counter-strategy.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said she will not attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30 after the BJP sent invites to the families of party supporters allegedly killed in political violence in West Bengal.
Rubbishing BJP’s claim that 54 of its workers were “murdered”, Banerjee tweeted: “The ceremony is an august occasion to celebrate democracy, not one that should be devalued by any political party which uses it as an opportunity to score political points.”
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