Kolkata: Trinamool’s numerical strength in the Lok Sabha has come down by two as one of its MP today switched over to BJP, while another has been ousted by the party itself.
The shocker comes barely 10 days ahead of the mega anti-BJP rally being hosted by Trinamool in Kolkata on 19 January. The rally is aimed at kick-starting a pan India anti-BJP federal front for the Lok Sabha polls due in next few months.
Saumitra Khan, the young Trinamool MP from Bishnupur Lok Sabha seat in Bankura district joined the saffron party at its national headquarters in New Delhi.
The architect of the defection, Mukul Roy and, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan was present at the induction ceremony of Khan.
This came less than 24-hours after Khan posted a video message on Facebook yesterday accusing the SDPO of Bishnupur of having abducted his personal assistant.
Trinamool leadership was contemplating action against him for this that Khan switched over to BJP this afternoon.
“There’s no democracy in Bengal. Everywhere in India people elect their representatives but in Bengal people are not allowed to cast vote,” he said soon after donning the new jersey.
Interestingly, Khan, originally a Congress politician, had defected from the party at the behest of the Trinamool in 2014. He was then elected to the Lok Sabha on Trinamool ticket.
BJP seems to be now employing the same defection tactics with which Trinamool has been gobbling up Congress and Left elected representatives in Bengal for the past seven years.
Coming out of the shock, Trinamool leadership announced later in the day that Khan had been ousted for anti-party activities in the morning itself.
“Anupam Hazra (MP from Bolpur in Birbhum) too has been ousted. He has been acting in a more deplorable manner. He kept on making unsavoury posts on Facebook that do not go with party policies,” Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee told reporters.
This, however, did not come before Hazra had posted a dual file photo with Khan on a social medium.
This came with a commentary that if Hazra could continue to be loyal to Mamata Banerjee despite being excluded from Trinamool events in Birbhum for the past four years, why Khan could not do so.
With this, Trinamool’s strength in the Lok Sabha has come down to 32 even before the coming elections.
Political observers in Kolkata keeping an eye on the development said that Trinamool has ousted Hazra as he too is likely to join the BJP soon. They believe that another 5-6 Trinamool MPs / MLAs are maintaining contact with BJP.
Asked about this, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said: “This is only the beginning. Several more from Trinamool will switchover.”
Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool youth wing president, Abhishek Banerjee, has thrown an open challenge to defector Khan to win an election on BJP ticket even from a single polling booth in Bishnupur.