Raiganj MLA joins Trinamool Congress
Fifth BJP legislator to defect after West Bengal Assembly polls
The defection of elected representatives of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is continuing unabated in West Bengal. On Wednesday, Krishna Kalyani, BJP MLA from the Raiganj Assembly seat joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the presence of TMC leaders Partha Chatterjee and Vivek Gupta at a party office in Kolkata. The development comes only three days before bypolls are scheduled for four Assembly seats in the State.
Speaking to journalists after switching political loyalties, the MLA said that within the BJP, he was never rewarded or appreciated for the work he did for the people of his constituency. “There is no culture of appreciation in the BJP; what is there is only a culture of conspiracy,” Mr. Kalyani said. The MLA heaped lavish praises on the welfare schemes of the Trinamool Congress government and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and criticised the rise in prices of petroleum products and cooking gas.
He is the fifth MLA to have defected to the Trinamool Congress after getting elected on a BJP ticket. In the 2021 West Bengal Assembly polls, the BJP has 77 seats while the Trinamool Congress has won 211 seats.
BJP MLA from Krishnanagar Uttar, Mukul Roy, was the first to defect to the TMC in June 2021 only a month after the Assembly polls results were declared. Other MLAs elected on the BJP ticket who defected to TMC are Tanmoy Ghosh from Bishnupur; Biswajit Das from Bagda; and Soumen Roy from the Kaliaganj Assembly seats, respectively. Former Union Minister Babul Supriyo, who was elected MP from Asansol in 2019, also defected to the TMC.
West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said that the Raiganj MLA has joined the Trinamool Congress to protect his business interests. Mr. Majumdar said that people “can see through these defections and will respond when they get opportunity to do so”.
During the day, another BJP leader, Babu Master alias Rauf Gazi, announced his decision to quit the BJP. Mr. Gazi is considered an influential leader from State’s Basirhat area.