Three BJP leaders, who had withdrawn their nominations for polls to the Garulia Municipality in West Bengal, on Sunday made their way back to the Trinamool Congress, voicing grievance over the saffron party’s style of functioning. Polls to 108 municipalities, including Garulia, are scheduled to be held on February 27.
The three leaders – former MLA Sunil Singh, his son Aditya and Garulia Municipality’s ex-chairperson Saurabh Singh – had withdrawn their nominations on Saturday.
The trio, relatives of BJP’s Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh, rejoined the TMC at the Titagarh party office in the presence of West Bengal minister Jyotipriyo Mallick and Naihati MLA Partha Bhowmik.
They were fielded by the saffron party from ward numbers 12, 17 and 18 of Garulia Municipality. “We are unhappy with the way the North 24 Parganas unit of BJP is functioning. While the organizational base of the party is shrinking fast in the district, the number of self-styled leaders has increased. We don’t want to be associated with such a party,” Saurabh Singh told reporters.
“It was a mistake on our part to have left the TMC to join the BJP,” added Sunil Singh.
BJP’s Arjun Singh, who had quit the ruling party in 2019, however, deplored their move, calling them “traitors”.
“They betrayed our party, having got tempting offers from the TMC. All of them had literally begged for municipal poll tickets from the BJP… and now backstabbed the party.
“I have failed as a brother and uncle… They are no more my family. Those in the BJP are my family members,” the parliamentarian said.
Meanwhile, 200 BJP youth wing members joined the TMC in Kharagpur area of Paschim Medinipur district earlier in the day, claiming that they were not getting due recognition despite toiling hard in support of saffron party candidates in recent elections.
BJP national vice-president and former chief of its state unit, Dilip Ghosh, who was in Kharagpur to campaign for the municipal elections, said the Mamata Banerjee-led party was creating pressure on youth wing supporters to switch sides. “The TMC used police to frame false charges against BJP grassroot-level workers in Kharagpur. This is their nefarious game plan to weaken our party in the area,” Ghosh said.
Reacting to the developments, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said several BJP leaders and workers in North 24 Parganas and elsewhere in the state have been “sending feelers” to the ruling party to be associated with it.
“But, the TMC is using its own discretion while inducting people from the BJP.” he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)