West Bengal

West Bengal Assembly polls | Five sitting Trinamool MLAs join BJP

Trinamool Congress MLA Sonali Guha (4R), Tollywood actress Tanusree Chakraborty (3R) and TMC leader Sarala Mormu (2R) receive the BJP party flag from state BJP President Dilip Ghosh, BJP National Vice President Mukul Roy and party MP Locket Chatterjee, during an event to mark their joining of BJP, in Kolkata, Monday, March 8, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Several disgruntled leaders of Trinamool Congress, including five sitting MLAs, who were denied a ticket by the West Bengal’s ruling party on Monday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with host district level leaders.

Interestingly, Sarala Murmu, whom the Trinamool Congress gave ticket from Habibpur Assembly seat in Malda also joined the BJP. The defections, which have become a regular feature in West Bengal polls, are continuing even after the dates have of polls have been announced and the nomination for the first two phase of polls have begun.

The list of sitting MLAs who joined the BJP today include Singur’s Rabindranath Bhattacharya, who is upset that the party has given Bechram Manna the ticket from his constituency. Mr. Bhattacharya, who was prominent face of the anti-land acquisition at Singur has represented the constituency since 2001. The 88- year-old MLA, who was denied the ticket on account of ‘old age’, said that the “party has disowned him”. “I am also upset that Becharam Manna and his wife (Kabari Manna from Haripal) will contest from two adjoining seats. Is the TMC becoming a family party,” he said

Sonali Guha, a close associate of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the MLA from Satgachia also joined the BJP. Ms. Guha who had described herself as a “family member” to the CM said that she was hurt after being denied a ticket and not getting any call from Ms. Banerjee.

The other MLAs who joined the Trinamool after being denied a ticket are former footballer Dibendu Biswas, Basirhat Dakshin, Jatu Lahiri from Shibpur and Sital Sardar from Sankrail.

Leader with ticket quits

The most interesting switch was that of Ms. Murmu, who was nominated by Trinamool to contest from Habibpur Assembly seat for the upcoming Assembly polls. An embarrassed Trinamool Congress replaced her candidature with Pradeep Baksey. “All India Trinamool Congress would like to inform that the candidate for Malda district’s Habibpur Assembly Constituency has to be replaced due to her ill health,” a party statement said.

Ms. Murmu said that a number of her supporters at grassroots are joining the BJP and therefore she decided to join the party. Sources said she was upset after being denied ticket from Old Malda. Apart from the Ms. Murmu 14 zilla parishad members from Malda also joined BJP, giving the party a majority in the zilla parishad.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 4:26:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/west-bengal-assembly/west-bengal-assembly-polls-five-sitting-trinamool-mlas-join-bjp/article34022468.ece

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