‘Some BJP MLAs who have won the elections are likely to switch their allegiance’.

 

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders who had joined the BJP just before the polls in Bengal and have lost the elections, have gone incommunicado since 2 May and sources within both the TMC and BJP say that most of them are looking to join back TMC in the coming months.

Some of the leaders who had joined the BJP from TMC and have lost elections on a BJP ticket this time, include former TMC minister Rajib Banerjee, former TMC MLA Baishali Dalmiya, Rabindranath Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi Dutta, Jitender Tiwari, Prabir Ghoshal, Shilbhadra Dutta, Arindam Bhattacharya, Rathin Chakraborty, Rudranil Ghosh, among many others.

Sources from both the TMC and BJP indicate that many of these leaders are already in talks with the number two in TMC, Abhishek Banerjee, for a possible re-entry into the TMC in the coming months.

State BJP leaders told The Sunday Guardian that they were aware of this development. “We have reports that some of these leaders who have lost the election are in talks with the TMC and are having negotiations for going back to the party. They have already approached some of their friends in the TMC who would help them connect to the top leadership of the TMC to help their smooth entry into the party fold once again,” a senior BJP leader from Bengal told this correspondent.

Many of these leaders have not taken part in any party activity of the BJP since the BJP lost elections in the state and some have even stopped taking phone calls of their party leaders from their constituencies where they had contested the elections, says BJP functionaries from Bengal.

“The BJP leadership brought these TMC turncoats and decorated them as prized possessions, but they turned out be nothing less than failures. Do these leaders actually have loyalty towards the party or did they just come to the BJP hoping that the TMC ship is sinking and it is better to board the sailing ship. These leaders are now nowhere to be seen even as hundreds of BJP karyakartas are being beaten up every day; in fact they don’t even answer phone calls,” a BJP functionary from Bengal told this newspaper.

Reports are also coming that the TMC has also approached some of the BJP MLAs who have won the elections and these MLAs are likely to switch their allegiance.  Sources within the TMC told The Sunday Guardian that a “few” BJP leaders had approached the TMC to “negotiate their entry into the TMC party fold in the coming months”.

TMC sources have also hinted that some of the top leaders of the BJP, who were earlier close to the TMC dispensation, have been playing an instrumental role in acting as a bridge to connect many of the BJP leaders with the TMC.

This, TMC leaders believe, will ease the process of making some BJP leaders join the TMC in the coming months.

The TMC is also hopeful to get a handful of BJP MLAs and some senior leaders of the party into the TMC in the coming days which they believe would be beneficial for the TMC with regards to the upcoming municipal polls and the general elections of 2024, where the TMC is hoping to play a bigger role in national politics.

It is also pertinent to mention here that following the election results, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had made a soft appeal to all of its former members who had left the party just before the elections, to come back if they “wish to work for the people of Bengal”.

This comes at a time when the BJP is trying to keep its flock together in Bengal, keeping in mind the upcoming municipal elections and the 2024 general elections. The BJP was, however, hoping to overthrow the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government from Bengal this time around, but the BJP could only manage to bag just 77 out of the 294 Assembly seats in Bengal.