On a day when BJPs leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party President J.P. Nadda in the national capital, and the party’s state leaders met to discuss the post-election strategy, the absence of Mukul Roy from the meeting increased the uneasiness in the saffron camp on Tuesday.
What has added fuel to the fire is a post by Rajib Banerjee, a former Trinamool Congress minister who had jumped ship to the BJP just before the Assembly elections held in March-April this year.
Banerjee, who flew to Delhi on a chartered flight and joined the BJP before the elections, said in a recent Facebook post in Bengali headlined ‘There has been enough criticism’: “To criticise a government which came to power with a massive public mandate and to oppose its Chief Minister, the repeated reference to Delhi (Centre) and Article 356 will not go down well with the people of Bengal. It is our duty to rise above politics and fight together for the people of the state in the hard times of Covid and Yaas.”
The post has created ripples in the political circles, forcing the BJP disciplinary committee to take it seriously.
Banerjee, who was defeated from the Domjur Assembly constituency in the recently concluded elections, said in his close circles that he had repeatedly warned the central party leadership against hardline ‘Hindutva’ campaign in Bengal, but it didn’t pay any heed.
Trinamool Congress General Secretary Kunal Ghosh said, “It is nice to see that he has realised finally, but the realisation came too late. He should have realised this before going to Delhi and joining the BJP.
However, state BJP President Dilip Ghosh is not ready to give too much importance to the post. “It is a personal opinion and we are looking into it,” he said.
While the state BJP leaders might chose to ignore Banerjee’s post, the absence of another senior leader and former Trinamool man Mukul Roy from the first meeting of the state BJP leaders on Tuesday might become a matter of concern for the saffron camp.
When asked about it, Ghosh said, “His wife is not well, so he has skipped the meeting. But most of the other party leaders were present in the meeting.”
This is not the first time that Roy has skipped the meeting of the party’s legislative committee.
The situation became even more embarrassing when Trinamool’s national General Secretary, Abhishek Banerjee, recently went to a private hospital where Roy’s wife was undergoing treatment and met his son Subhranshu Roy and enquired about her health.
The meeting was immediately followed by Ghosh’s visit to the hospital and a phone call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Subhrangshu Roy was all-praise for Abhishek Banerjee, which left the BJP leadership even more red-faced.
Though the Trinamool-turned-BJP leaders seem to be giving some embarrassment to the saffron brigade, Adhikari after his meeting with Shah put up a brave face.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Adhikari said, “Last time the Trinamool Congress did the same thing with 20/22 MLAs but they should remember that Suvendu Adhikari is there and there is something called anti-defection law. So nothing will be so easy.” — IANS