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Scales Tilted Heavily In Favour Of Trinamool Congress In Game Of Defections


Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): At a time when the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) is a hot property with leaders from different political parties queuing up to join it, the ruling party and the main opposition is engaging in a war of words over the defections.

Trinamool leader and minister Firhad Hakim claimed that another heavyweight leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will soon defect to the TMC to which BJP leader Rahul Sinha claimed that the ruling party is trying to hype the issue and create an air of uncertainty.

Hakim said, “A big leader from BJP is set to join TMC in a few days. The party will disintegrate in the state soon.”

He added that the TMC is not inducting BJP leaders indiscriminately into its fold and is checking the antecedents, track record of each BJP leader, who have made overtures to the TMC.

Hinting at a similar phenomenon, TMC All India general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, at a public rally on Thursday said that the party has closed its doors “or else the whole of BJP in Bengal would have joined TMC”.

Former Union minister Babul Supriyo’s defection from the BJP has been one of the talking points in recent days. Though what political mileage can the TMC gain with the defection of the MP remains to be seen, it surely has tilted the scales in favour of Trinamool for now.

Political analyst Biswanath Chakraborty reads the phenomenon with respect to power and loss of ethics in politicians. He feels the political troposphere has changed since 2011 in Bengal. “If we take 2011 as the cut-off year, we will see that pre-2011 there were no defections in West Bengal. Post-2011, there has been a spate of defections. What we now see is power-centric politics. Everyone wants to be in power. There is certainly a big shift from ideological politics. We also see now that power is abused to affect defections,” said a categorical Chakraborty.       

West Bengal BJP new party president Sukanta Majumdar has emphasized that any leader, who is contemplating leaving the party should discuss all contentious issues with him before taking any decision.

Former state president and now the new all India vice-president of the BJP Dilip Ghosh has raised the bogey of defection in the state Congress too. Addressing the media in an informal chat Ghosh obliquely suggested that state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also wants to move the sinking ship of Congress. But lamented that the party he is planning to join is also broken and is ‘leaking’. “For Chowhury, the only option is the BJP,” he is supposed to have said. 

Mincing no words, Abhishek at the rally pointing fingers at Adhir said, “He is seldom seen in his constituency and is most of the time camping in Delhi. Though the Congress and the Left had formed an alliance, Adhir’s affinity is with the BJP.”

On Thursday, former Farakka MLa and five-time legislator from the Congress joined the TMC.

Amidst all the chaos of who is defecting where the BJP moved court with plea to disqualify its MLAs who defected to the TMC in the recent months.

Leader of opposition (LoP) Suvendu Adhikari said that he will move the court soon over the disqualifications of the MLA post of the defected leaders.

After having submitted the Supreme Court rule to the West Bengal assembly Speaker Biman Bandhopadhyay, Suvendu said that the party waited for three months before taking the move.

“The Supreme Court rule with reference to Manipur clearly states that the Manipur Speaker had to take a decision on defected leaders within three months. But in Mukul Roy’s case it has already been four months,” said Suvendu.

After Roy re-joining the TMC, BJP Bishnupur MLA Tanmay Ghosh, Bagda MLA Biswajit Das and Kaliyagunj BJP MLA Soumen Roy, also defected to the Trinamool Congress.

After Tanmay and Biswajit’s defection last month, the LoP had written letters to them asking them to clear their stand within 10 days but none of the defectors had replied.

The LoP has also requested the Speaker to disqualify the MLA posts of the defected leaders.