Close on the heels of winning two Lok Sabha seats in Bengal and increasing its vote percentage, the state BJP on Wednesday roped in Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien’s brother Barry O’Brien.
Barry, a renowned quiz master, joined the BJP along with wife Denise, stock market professional Siddharta Chatterjee and footballer Sashti Duley. Chatterjee is best known for his role as Topshe in Satyajit Ray’s classic Sonar Kella.
BJP leaders claimed that hundreds of workers are joining the party everyday and more stalwarts will follow.
Barry, who was nominated as the representative of Anglo Indian community in the state Assembly during the Left Front rule during 2006-2011, has conducted more than 2,500 quiz contests in India, West Asia, Nepal and Pakistan.
His father Niel O’Brien was one of the most prominent minority faces in the city for a long time.
“BJP is a party of action, not merely words. We have not come here for any position,” Barry said.
“I have been in touch with BJP leaders even before the Lok Sabha polls. My wife and I thought this was the right time to join the party and enter full-time politics. We are inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has already created a SIT to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks. We believe in his time-bound dedicated work initiatives,” Barry added.
“We are happy that Barry, Denise, Siddartha Chatterjee and Sasthi Duley joined us. We will discuss and decide on the role they would play in the party. The BJP is moving ahead in Bengal and we have a tough fight ahead,” Rahul Sinha, state BJP president, said. “Both of us were busy with our work and social welfare activities. But now our children have grown up and we think it’s the right time to join politics,” Barry said. “I have friends in all parties,” Barry said when asked about his proximity with the Left. For Siddhartha Chatterjee, the attraction was Modi and economic reforms. “I am a chartered accountant and I understand finance. I believe in economic reforms which Narendra Modi spoke of,” Chatterjee said.
Addressing a news conference, Sinha criticized the government on various issues, including withdrawing centralized online admission and spending money on the felicitation of KKR. “On June 6, we will hit the streets demanding that the state government bring back the online admission system.”