Kolkata, Dec 19 : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday welcomed Trinamool Congress rebel Suvendu Adhikari and several others to the BJP at a mega rally in Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal.
Apart from Adhikari, the other TMC MLAs who joined the BJP are: Shilbhadra Dutta from Barrackpore; Banashri Maiti from the Kanthi North in East Midnapore; Sukra Munda from Nagrakata in Jalpaiguri district; Biswajit Kundu from Kalna in East Burdwan; and Saikat Panja from Manteswar in East Burdwan.
The lawmakers from other parties are: Sudip Mukherjee, the Congress MLA from Purulia district; Ashok Dinda, the Communist Party of India (CPI) MLA from Tamluk; Dipali Biswas, CPI(M) MLA from Gazole in Malda district; and Tapasi Mandal, the CPI(M) legislator from Haldia in East Midnapore district.
Veteran leader Bani Singha Roy from Howrah district, who is one of the founder vice-presidents of the TMC, also joined the BJP.
Dasrath Tirkey, former Revolutionary Socialist Party MLA who joined the TMC in 2014 and won the Alipurduar Lok Sabha, seat joined the BJP on Saturday. Tirkey lost the seat to the BJP’s John Barla in 2019.
Among the others who joined the BJP are retired army colonel Diptangshu Chowdhury, who had quit the BJP in 2017 and joined the TMC. On Thursday, he stepped down from the posts of chairman of the South Bengal State Transport Corporation and advisor to the monitoring cell on programme implementation of government welfare services in the chief minister’s office.
Addressing the rally, the Union Home Minister said, “You gave three decades to Congress, 27 years to Communists and 10 years to Mamata didi. Give 5 years to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), we will make Bengal Sonar Bangla”.
“Why are so many people leaving Trinamool Congress? Because of the misrule, corruption and nepotism of Mamata Banerjee. Didi, this is just the beginning.”
“By the time elections come, you will be left all alone,” he said.
“Mamata didi says the BJP takes people from other parties. I want to remind her of her days in Congress. You (Mamata Banerjee) did the same when you left Congress and made TMC. When people of Bengal are coming with BJP to transform the state of Bengal, why is she worried? This is just the beginning. These people are leaving your party willfully. Didi has changed it into appeasement, family fiefdom and tolabaazi. People do not get central government benefits,” Mr Shah said.
“I want to ask the youth of Bengal – What is your fault? Why is there no development in Bengal? I want to ask the farmers of Bengal – Why are you not receiving the Rs 6,000 annually that is being sent by PM Modi?” he said.
Both Mr Shah and Mr Adhikari referred to growing discontent among the people and the party about the rise of Ms Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
Mr Adhikari after joining Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the economic condition of West Bengal is in a very bad state. If the state has to be salvaged, its reins need to be handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Trinamool Congress humiliated me. Those who humiliated me are now calling me a backstabber. Mamata Banerjee is nobody’s mother. There is only one mother and that is ‘Bharat Mata’. TMC will lose the 2021 West Bengal polls,” Mr Adhikari said.
Mr Adhikari even gave the slogan, “Bhaipo Hatao (Remove The Nephew)”.
Targeting Banerjee and the TMC for branding the BJP’s national leaders as “outsiders,” Adhikari said, “Amit Shah Ji, (BJP national president) JP Nadda Ji and the others are being called outsiders. India is one nation. I want Bengal and India to have the same government or else Bengal will not survive. There are no jobs, no progress. We have to ensure Narendra Modi’s government in Bengal.”
“I have a long association with Amit Shah ji. I have been loved like a brother by the BJP. When I was afflicted by COVID-19, no one from the TMC for whom I have given my life, asked me how I was. But Amit Shah did, twice,” Mr Adhikari added.