Actor-turned-politician’s remark is being seen as ‘diversionary’ tactics meant to build ‘positive optics’ for BJP.


New Delhi: Actor-turned-politician Mithun Chakraborty’s statement last week that claimed that more than 38 Trinamool Congress MLAs are waiting to jump ship and join the BJP, is being looked at as a “diversionary” tactic and something which is aimed at building a “positive political optics” for the BJP by many in Bengal.
Political observers and many even within the BJP feel that Chakraborty’s statement was far from reality and that he had said something like this to boost the morale of the cadre that was almost in a deep slumber since the last one year.
Mithun Chakraborty, who joined the BJP ahead of the 2021 Assembly polls in Bengal, has become active in politics and has been asked by the Central leadership of the party to be stationed in Bengal and help revive the party and this statement of his is being looked at only through the prism of “resurrecting” the party.
Mithun is not the first to make such tall claims on behalf of the BJP. Earlier, Mukul Roy, who had joined the BJP in 2017 had at multiple occasions claimed that more than 100 TMC MLAs would be joining the BJP. Just after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when the BJP won 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats from Bengal, Mukul Roy had claimed that more than 100 TMC MLAs would soon be joining the BJP and that they were in touch with him and central BJP leaders, giving a sense that the TMC government would fall even before the Assembly elections were held in 2021.
But in reality, not more than six TMC MLAs joined the BJP in due course of time. Even before the 2021 Assembly polls in Bengal, Roy would claim almost on a daily basis that several MLAs of the TMC were making a beeline to join the BJP. However, in total, only 12 MLAs of the TMC had joined the BJP. Not only Roy, even leaders like Kailash Vijayvargiya, in-charge of Bengal BJP, had claimed that some 41 MLAs were in talks with the BJP to join the party, ahead of the Assembly elections in Bengal, held last year. Several MPs of the BJP had also made such claims both post the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and ahead of the Assembly elections in Bengal. Some of the MPs who used to make claims of TMC MLAs being in touch with the BJP and would join the party in due course of time, were MPs like Arjun Singh, who himself later joined the TMC.
Even Mukul Roy, who on a regular basis would make claims of TMC MLAs waiting to join the BJP, later joined the TMC, following the electoral defeat of the BJP in the Assembly elections held last year. Sources in the BJP said that such statements were being made by BJP leaders to make the Central leaders in Delhi happy and had no reality on the ground.
“Statements like these are far from reality. Why would 28 MLAs from the TMC join the BJP? There is no evidence to believe such a thing. Such messaging is being done either to boost the morale of the cadre or to please the top leadership in Delhi. Several of the BJP leaders who had been concerned with the fall of the BJP have repeatedly been telling the Central leadership to get real feedback from the ground and not to listen to leaders like them who are making statements out of thin air,” a BJP MP from Bengal told The Sunday Guardian.
However, another BJP MP from Bengal who spoke to this correspondent said that it shouldn’t be surprising if the BJP goes the Maharashtra way in Bengal, post the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.