Senior leader of the BJP in West Bengal, Mukul Roy, has rubbished a report by Times Now that claimed that 21 BJP leaders in the state including 4 Members of Parliament and 1 member of Legislative Assembly were ready to jump ship to the Trinamool Congress. He called the bit of news ‘bogus, baseless concoction’. Mukul Roy added that such misinformation will dent the credibility of the media.
The Times Now report quoted sources from the Trinamool Congress to make the claim. It was claimed that 3 of the MPs in question and the MLA had earlier jumped ship from the TMC to the BJP. The other 16 BJP leaders being spoken of are Councillors from the party. Journalist Tamal Saha further claimed that one of the MPs is a two-time MP from the BJP and had been in touch with the Trinamool Congress for the past 3 months. The entire report has been rubbished by the BJP.
Times Now further claimed that there was an alleged rift developing between state BJP President Dilip Ghosh and Mukul Roy. There were also clear indications that the news channel was insinuating that Mukul Roy is one of the prominent BJP leaders who was willing to jump ship at the opportune moment.
In a letter to the Editor-in-Chief of Times Now, the BJP has slammed the channel for propagating ‘manufactured news’ against the party. In the letter, Saptarshi Choudhury, media-in-charge of the BJP in Bengal, said, “With utter disrespect, I am writing this letter to you. In the news telecast by your channel, you have stated that 21 BJP leaders including 4 MPs and 1 MLA likely to Join TMC. You have hinted for many known faces with the sole intention of creating confusion. If you are that much sure about your manufactured news then you could have easily named the persons. But no one was named knowing it quite well that your news does not have any relation with ground reality. In recent past, you have published news to tarnish the image of WB BJP for reasons best known to you.”
The letter added, “You are requested to disclose the source of the news and pray for an unconditional apology for airing a fake story. You are also requested to disclose the names otherwise law will take its own course and you will be responsible for the same. I would like to request you to restrain yourself from publishing such fake stories in the new future otherwise I shall have no option than to take legal steps.” Dilip Ghosh stated, “All those people and news channels who are jealous of the rise of BJP in Paschim Banga are regularly circulating fake news. Shameful!”
Other elected representatives of the BJP in West Bengal have also come forward to rubbish the report and present a united face ahead of the Assembly Elections scheduled next year.