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Month After Trinamool Win, Defectors Who Joined BJP Queue Up To Return


Mamata Banerjee is yet to take a call on those who want to return to her TMC from the BJP.

Kolkata:

One of the most apparent challenges faced by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the many months leading up to the legislative polls held in March-April this year was the massive exodus of her party’s leaders to the BJP. This constant stream reinforced talk of the outfit’s impending collapse.

That mirage, however, quickly vanished on results day, May 2. The Trinamool Congress romped home with 213 of the 292 assembly seats — the BJP bagged 77.

And now, a reverse migration is in the offing. A rising number of former Trinamool leaders in the BJP now seems to be seeking re-entry into Ms Banerjee’s stable.

Former MLA Sonali Guha, for instance, now feels like “fish out of water” after having left the Trinamool in March this year. Footballer-turned-politician Dipendu Biswas wrote to Ms Banerjee today saying he wants to “take the TMC flag again”. Other such names include Sarala Murmu and Amal Acharya, according to a PTI report.

There is even buzz of Rajib Banerjee, a minister in Ms Banerjee’s government till weeks before the polls, considering a return.

“Not only leaders, seven-to-eight winning MLAs and 3-4 sitting MPs of the BJP have expressed their wish to join the Trinamool Congress,” Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh told NDTV. He refused to comment any further saying the party leadership has not yet taken a decision on this.

“But we have to honour the sentiments of party cadres, too. These leaders left the party just before elections and the workers and leaders managed to win the election under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee,” Mr Ghosh said.

The biggest name doing the rounds among those looking to trace their path back to the TMC is that of Mukul Roy. One of the earliest Trinamool leaders to have abandoned Ms Banerjee, his son has now made a Facebook post perceived to be critical of the BJP. The senior leader himself has not said a word on the matter, though.

The BJP has, however, dismissed reports of such a move on Mr Roy’s part.

“There was a perception that the BJP is coming to power and the Trinamool will lose power. A lot of people joined our party crying and now they are leaving laughing. People are watching this. People can see why they came to us and why they are leaving,” said West Bengal BJP leader Shamik Bhattacharya.

While only a few leaders have openly expressed such a desire till now, most big names have remained silent.



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