The convoy packed with dissident lawmakers, MPs and other Trinamool Congress leaders set out for the venue at around 12.15 p.m. from Mecheda’s guest house in East Midnapore.
They started after former West Bengal Transport and Irrigation Minister Suvendu Adhikari stepped out of his Contai residence for the Midnapore College Ground.
According to sources, at least nine sitting legislators, besides Suvendu Adhikari, and a Lok Sabha MP from the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress, Left Front and the Congress are there in the convoy.
Apart from them, many district leaders were also on the list of those who will join the saffron brigade on Saturady afternoon during Shah’s grand event.
Of the total nine sitting lawmakers, at least six are from the Trinamool Congress, sources said.
Shah, along with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s national general secretary (in-charge of West Bengal) Kailash Vijayvargiya, national vice-president Mukul Roy and BJP state unit president Dilip Ghosh, had lunch at a farmer’s home at Balijuri village.
Some of the names which are likely to switch to the BJP in Bengal are Barackpore’s Trinamool MLA Shilbhadra Dutta, North Contai MLA Banashree Maity, Kalna’s MLA Biswajit Kundu, East Burdwan legislator Saikat Panja, Dipali Biswas — an MLA from Gajal, Sukra Munda from Nagrakata and Haldia’s Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MLA Tapasi Mondal, amongst many others.
Sitting Trinamool MP from East Burdwan Sunil Mandal is also likely to join the BJP along with former MP Dasarath Tirke, former minister Shyamaprasad Mukhopadhyay and former MLA Satyen Ray. Trinamool leaders like Rama Prasad Giri, Congress leader Sanmoy Bandopadhyay along with six minority cell leaders are also scheduled to join the BJP in the presence of Shah, sources said.