AHEAD of Assembly elections in Bengal in March –April 2021, the Ruling Trinamool Congress on Tuesday suffered a setback with three MLAs defecting to the BJP and losing control of four municipalities in North 24 Parganas to the saffron party. The Lawmakers are Shubranshu Roy, son of BJP leader and former Union Minister Mukul Roy, CPI-M legislator and a Congress sitting lawmaker .A total of 51 councillors from Kanchrapara, Halishahar, and Naihati and Bhatpara municipalities in North 24 Parganas have joined BJP helping the surging party gain an absolute majority in the civic bodies.”Three MLAs and 50-60 Councillors are joining BJP today. Such joining will continue in future also,” Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP National General Secretary and Party’s Bengal in- charge told ANI.Besides Shubranshu Roy, other MLAs are Tusharkanti Bhattacharjee and CPM MLA Devendra Roy. They all joined BJP in the BJP’s headquarters .Shubranshu had been suspended by TMC recently. The ex-TMC leaders chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ soon after joining BJP.Mukul Roy, addressing the press conference where the ex-TMC leaders formally joined BJP, said that it was first of seven such events.”Just like seven phased Lok Sabha elections, there will be seven phases of TMC defectors joining BJP,” Mukul Roy said. Responding to a question by a media person whether BJP was not indulging in horse trading, Mukul Roy said “Horse trading is being done by TMC. After Panchayat polls, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee tried to buy over or threaten our people into jumping ship.”In the West Bengal assembly election in 2021, TMC will not even get the status of the Opposition party.” Mukul Roy added. Mukul Roy, who left the TMC in 2017 after differences with party supremo Mamata Banerjee, accompanied the leaders to Delhi.”We are not upset with Mamata but the recent victory of BJP in Bengal has influenced us to join the party. People like the saffron party as it is working for them,” said Ruby Chatterjee, TMC councillor from Garifa.On being asked how many Trinamool Congress members approached BJP to join the BJP, Mukul Roy the matter was confidential.”Trinamool lost 143 assembly segments in the Lok Sabha elections; no one wants to stay in a losing party.” A lost candidate will never like to stay in a losing party.”The BJP won 18 of total 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal and increased its vote share from 17 per cent in 2014 to 40.5 per cent this time. Even in the seats that the TMC won, the BJP emerged as the runners-up, relegating the Left to the third spot, said Mukul Roy. Incidentally, Arjun Singh, who was TMC MLA of Bhatpara, joined BJP and defeated TMC leader and Sitting MP Dinesh Dwivedi in Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas .His son Pawan Singh has won the Bhatpara assembly by- election held along with the Lok Sabha poll. Meanwhile, post election clashes between BJP and TMC supporters continued in various parts of West Bengal.
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