Kolkata: Trinamool has suffered a major blow in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections with its sitting MLA and political strongman Arjun Singh joining the BJP today.
Speculation is that one more Trinamool MLA and two MLAs of the Congress are set to join the saffron party. Some of them have already reached New Delhi to hold talks with BJP national leadership.
Singh, who enjoys enormous influence in the industrial belt in North 24-Parganas district, switched over to the BJP at its national headquarters in New Delhi today.
BJP observer for Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya, and Bengal election wing convener, Mukul Roy, formally inducted Singh into the party. Roy, who was a key leader of Trinamool till 2017, is the architect of this latest defection.
On 11 March, Roy had made CPI-M MLA Khagen Murmu, Congress MLA Dulal Bor, and expelled Trinamool MP Anupam Hazra join the BJP.
“This is only a trailer, the full movie is yet to come,” he told news persons by taking Singh by his side.
Singh, on his part, accused Mamata Banerjee of taking comprising stand on issues of national interests.
“I was stunned by her comments on the Balakot air strike that the Indian Air Force carried out in response to Pulwama terror strike. She only wants to keep her vote bank intact and doesn’t care for the country at all. Maa Maati Manush now stands for money money money,” the MLA said.
The real reason for him joining the BJP, however, is different. Singh was eyeing to be nominated by Trinamool from Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat and had sounded the party on this, sources informed.
But Mamata Banerjee re-nominated sitting MP and veteran leader Dinesh Trivadi to contest from the seat and since then Singh was smarting.
Speculation is that the MLA, who also happens to be the chairman of Bhatpara Municipality, is now likely to lure several of his follower councillors and local level leaders to join the saffron party. BJP is likely to field him against Trivedi.