Mamata Banerjee’s worries are mounting as the exodus of TMC leaders continues ahead of the Assembly elections. In yet another jolt to the party supremo, who is eyeing at her third consecutive term, senior TMC leader Sarala Murmu has also reportedly ditched Mamata Banerjee to join BJP. Murmu’s jump to BJP has come after she was offered a TMC ticket for the Habibpur seat in the Malda district.
Hours after being replaced due to ‘ill health’, TMC candidate Sarala Murmu joins BJP— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) March 8, 2021
TMC rushes to issue statement saying Sarala Murmu had to be replaced due to ill health
Left deeply embarrassed with this latest development, the Trinamool Congress, in order to salve its conscience, rushed to issue a statement Monday, saying that Sarala Murmu had to be replaced due to her ill health. The TMC replaced Murmu with Pradeep Bakshey as a candidate for the Habibpur seat.
With this, Sarala Murmu has become the first party member to jump ship despite making it to the candidate list in West Bengal this election season.
Reports have it the Sarala Murmu and the others took a train from Malda on Sunday night and reached Kolkata on Monday morning to join the BJP. All these members are said to be close to BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, whose resignation from TMC in December last year had triggered a mass-exodus of party leaders in TMC.
Since yesterday it was being speculated that Sarala Murmu will bring in at least 14 other TMC members along with her to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Sarala Murmu has not been available for comments.
As per reports, the main reason for the senior party leader to quit was the seat distribution. She was believed to be miffed that she did not get the seat (Old Malda) she wanted and instead was asked to contest from Habibpur by the party’s key decision-makers.
“This is primarily the reason why she has decided to quit the TMC and is planning to join the BJP. Apart from Murmu, 14 others, including Gour Chandra Mondal (Malda Zila Parishad president) and Amlan Bhaduri (TMC co-ordinator), are also planning to join the BJP,” a local TMC leader said, requesting anonymity.
According to reports, Sarala Murmu is not the only TMC leader who has been disgruntled with the party over ticket distribution.
Upset with seat denial, TMC MLA’s supporters burn down his own office
We reported how hours after Trinamool Congress (TMC) released the list of candidates contesting the upcoming State Legislative polls in West Bengal, the supporters of former party MLA Arabul Islam burnt down his own party office as he was denied a ticket from his Bhangar constituency in South 24 Pargana. Arabul Islam had represented the constituency in 2006.
As per reports, the incident took place on Friday in Bhangar in South 24 Parganas after the TMC leader’s name did not feature in the list of candidates contesting the elections. While the party has denied ticket to incumbent MLA Abdur Razzak Molla, it has decided to field Rezaul Karim from the Bhangar seat. The supporters of Arabul Islam not only vandalised their own party office but also set it on fire. In a video that has now gone viral on social media, they were seen gathered around a bonfire that was initiated by setting the vacant party office ablaze.