West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee has started to lose her patience as more and more of her party leaders and councillors continue jumping ships. In a veiled attack, TMC on Sunday warned its former councillors who joined BJP, that they would face the “consequences.”
In a statement released on June 23, the TMC said that “99.99 per cent of Trinamool functionaries and elected representatives are honest, hardworking and committed to work for the benefit of the people. Some from different political parties are sullying the name of the party by indulging in corruption and unfair practices. They will be dealt with severely”.
“A very few members from panchayats and municipalities have joined the BJP because of their ulterior motives and selfish vested interests. They have done this with the hope that their misdeeds and crimes will be washed away. They are mistaken,” TMC said in a statement.
Statement from West Bengal Trinamool Congress at 5 pm June 23, 2019 pic.twitter.com/RVA9rUT6uq
— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) June 23, 2019
TMC stressed that its former members would not be spared for the “crimes” they have committed. The party added, “If there has been wrongdoing on anyone’s part, he will have to face the consequences even though he has the backing of the BJP.”
Several TMC MLAs and councillors have defected to BJP in the recent past. Recently, a local strongman and Nowpara MLA Sunil Singh along with 12 Trinamool councillors of the Garulia municipality joined the BJP.
Interestingly, the Garulia municipality has 21 councillors, out of which 19 were from the TMC. As 12 TMC members have decided to join the BJP, the municipality will fall into the hands of the BJP, which already has a majority in Bhatpara and Darjeeling civic bodies.
Mamata Banerjee’s predicaments increased after her party lost space to the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as the latter won 18 seats. Soon after the elections, the MLAs, senior TMC functionaries began to join hands with the BJP. TMC’s Bijpur MLA Shubhranshu Roy joined the party with a Congress and a CPM MLA last month.
Another TMC lawmaker Manirul Islam had also joined the saffron party in presence of BJP leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy recently. Along with Manirul Islam, president of TMC’s youth wing Gadadhar Hazra, the secretary of the same unit Mohammad Asif Iqbal and TMC leader Nimai Das also switched sides to join the BJP.
BJP also took control over three municipalities after the councillors joined the BJP. The municipalities are, Kanchrapara, Halisahara and Naihati.
In fact, adding insult to injury, Arjun Sigh, after crossing over from TMC on March 14, had claimed that over 100 MLAs from the Trinamool Congress will be joining the BJP soon.
In March there were reports that almost 300 Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers from Cooch Behar in West Bengal, along with senior TMC Yuva Morcha leader, Nishith Paramanik and a former CISF commandant and Arjuna awardee, Chhaya Adak, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party at their national headquarters in Delhi.
Irked by the continuous setbacks, Mamata had last week called all the defectors “greedy and corrupt” and claimed that the BJP was “collecting garbage”. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo also said she would be replacing the “traitors” with “dedicated members” and asked those “undecided about joining the BJP” to leave her party at the earliest.