Three MLAs from West Bengal, including Trinamool Congress-turned-BJP leader Mukul Roy’s son Subhrangshu Roy, along with more than 60 councillors on Tuesday joined the BJP here in the presence of BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya who said more TMC leaders will join the saffron party soon.
The other two MLAs are Tushar Kanti Bhattacharya from Bishnupur (Trinamool) and Debendra Roy from Hemtabad (CPI-M).
The dramatic development followed the shock reverses suffered by the Trinamool Congress in the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 18 of the 42 seats — from just two won in 2014.
Subhrangshu Roy, a two-term MLA from Bijpur constituency, was suspended from the Trinamool Congress for making anti-party comments.
Apart from Vijayvargiya, Mukul Roy also welcomed the West Bengal leaders amid cries of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Jai Shri Ram”.
Among the councillors, there were 17 from Kanchrapara Municipality.
“Out of 26 councillors from Kanchrapara Municipality, 17 are joining the BJP including the Chairman. So from today, the entire board of the Kanchrapara Municipality is with BJP and it will be controlled by the BJP,” Mukul Roy announced.
From the Halishahar Municipality, out of the total strength of 23, 17 councillors, including the Chairman and Vice Chairman, have joined the BJP.
In Naihati Municipality, 29 of the 31 councillors joined the BJP.
“All the three Municipalities will be ruled by the BJP now,” Mukul Roy added triumphantly.
Apart from them, some panchayat heads also joined the BJP.
“The way Bengal is going under the leadership of Vijayvargiya, all the TMC people will join the BJP,” Mukul Roy said. “From June 1 or 2, you will see the queue of MLAs (willing to join the BJP).”
While campaigning in West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that 40 MLAs from the Trinamool Congress were in touch with him.
Reacting to Modi’s claim, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’ Brien had boasted: “Nobody will go with you. Not even one councillor.”
Vijayvargiya said: “Today over 50 councillors and three MLAs are here (at the BJP office). We will do a seven-phase programme of joining, just like the state saw the elections in seven phases.”
He also said that in different phases every month more and more people will join the BJP.
“In the first phase, we got three MLAs and three Municipalities. Slowly the number will go up. Those who feel suffocated in the TMC because of Mamata (Banerjee) want to join the BJP.
“We will select people. Not everyone will be allowed. Only those who are eligible for the BJP will be allowed,” Vijayvargiya said.
He also said that he gave his best wishes to TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee that she remains the West Bengal Chief Minister till 2021.
“But if her ‘karma’ and people work like this, we cannot help.”
He said that inspired by the leadership of Modi, a lot of leaders from Bengal, not just from TMC but other parties as well, were coming to the BJP.