MLAs’ defection to BJP a minor issue, party will bounce back in 2021: Trinamool

Kolkata: On a day when two of their MLAs and over 60 councillors joined the BJP, West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress leaders on Tuesday termed the development a “minor crisis” and said the party will bounce back in the 2021 Assembly polls.

A total of three MLAs including BJP leader Mukul Roy’s son Subhrangshu Roy joined the BJP in Delhi in the presence of saffron party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya who said more Trinamool Congress leaders would join the BJP soon.

Tushar Kanti Bhattacharya, who won on Congress ticket in the 2016 Assembly elections but later joined the Trinamool, and CPI-M legislator Debendra Nath Roy also crossed over to the BJP.

The dramatic development followed the serious reverses suffered by the Bengal’s ruling party in the Lok Sabha elections in the state where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 18 of the 42 seats – up from just two won in 2014.

“When a ship is rocked in the face of a storm, the rats jump into the sea without knowing their fate. The same is happening now. We are sure that those who are joining (BJP) are being forced to do so,” Bengal Urban Development Minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said.

West Bengal Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Tapas Roy termed the erosion in the party a “minor crisis”.

“The Lok Sabha vote was not based on any people centric issue. Polarization and Chowkidar were the issues. It is a minor crisis for our party. It has faced bigger crisis before. The party will bounce back,” he said.

Alongwith the MLAs, over 60 councillors – 17 from Kanchrapara Municipality, 17 from Halisahar Municipality and 29 from Naihati Municipality in the North 24 Parganas district – also joined the saffron party.

As a result, all the three Municipalities will now be ruled by the BJP.

Clearly disappointed at the recent development, Trinamool’s North 24 Parganas district President and Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said the party will make a strong comeback and prove itself in the 2021 Assembly elections.