I have no bitterness against the BJP: Chandan Mitra

“I don’t think anyone can dislodge Mamata from her leadership in West Bengal in the foreseeable future”

July 23, 2018 10:03 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 12:29 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Chandan Mitra. File

Chandan Mitra. File

Chandan Mitra, former Bharatiya Janata Party MP and Editor of The Pioneer , who recently joined the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata, said he undertook the shift in parties because he did not see any leader other than West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as a force in his home State.

‘Feeling frustrated’

“I have no bitterness against the BJP, but I had been feeling more and more frustrated that I was unable to do much in terms of effecting change in my home State. The feeling grew stronger after I contested the 2014 Lok Sabha poll [from Hooghly, West Bengal]. As a Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh, I couldn’t contribute any funds to the State either. I found that given the acceptability of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee among the people, the most appropriate vehicle for doing work in my home State would therefore be to join the Trinamool Congress,” he told The Hindu .

New leadership

Asked whether he felt any bitterness towards the BJP and its new leadership as conveyed by other senior members of the party, who had been there when former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani were at the helm, like Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, Mr. Mitra was quick to distance himself from such speculation.

“Don’t put me in any club or group, my actions are purely guided by what I want to do for West Bengal,” he said.

The BJP had not been much of a force in the State in the past, but lately has been doing much better in local body and other elections.

Asked why the BJP, which was working hard to grow in the State, could not still be an appropriate forum for him, Mr. Mitra was categorical on his reasons.

“I don’t think anyone can dislodge Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from her leadership in the State in the foreseeable future,” he said.

Mr. Mitra had been Rajya Sabha MP for two terms on BJP ticket, and had also been the party in-charge of Odisha in the past.

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