130 TMC MLAs ready to switch says BJP but Trinamool says “This is nonsense”

Kolkata(IE): In the face of growing embarrassment for the Trinamool Congress with several of its leaders being arrested in the Saradha scam case, some elected representatives are reportedly on their way to switch over to the BJP.

“Around 130 Trinamool MLAs have called us and expressed their willingness to switch over to the BJP,” said BJP state general secretary Ashim Sarkar. The one name that is doing the rounds is Animal Resource Development Minister Humayun Kabir.

While terming this both as good news and also an alarm bell, he added: “Good news because awareness among people is rising that the BJP is the next big thing and that the rise of BJP in Bengal is inevitable…

And an alarm bell because in the rush to bring them in, we must not forget that anti-social elements in the Trinamool should not be allowed to join the BJP.”

Sarkar said that many who want to join the BJP are trying to bargain for important posts. “We have categorically told them that they need to be a member and work their way up,” he said.

Sarkar said the MLAs have been told that they can either resign from their posts and join the BJP or remain a BJP MLA and protest against the anti-people policies of the Trinamool.

Humayun Kabir, former Rejinagar MLA who had defected from the Congress to the Trinamool in November 2012 — alleging high-handedness by singer-turned politician Indranil Sen — said: “He is the blue-eyed boy of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and is appointing people of his choice, people who have no political experience just like him and are his yesmen.”

“Working under him is getting unbearable and I am keeping a watch on the situation. I will wait till the municipal elections next year and if the situation doesn’t improve, I will be forced to shift,” he added.

He claimed that the way BJP was gathering strength in Bengal, “it would be a party to reckon with in the near future”. Kabir, who had been inducted in Trinamool as minister, said he had spoken about the matter to party general secretary Mukul Roy but to no avail.

Senior Trinamool leaders, however, denied the reports of defection. Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee said, “This is nonsense. The BJP leaders have gone mad. Not even one elected representative will leave the party. Those claiming so need to get their heads checked.”

Mukul Roy too claimed: “I have no knowledge of MLAs planning to defect to other parties. Humayun Kabir is not very important, so, I don’t want to comment on him.”

When contacted, Trinamool leader Subrata Bakshi said: “I have no information about it. If people are claiming our leaders want to defect, speak to them.”

Source: Indian Express