Even as the Trinamool Congress was in the forefront of several protests against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government during Parliament’s winter session, its Rajya Sabha MP KD Singh was never seen at those events.
Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha chief whip, Derek O’Brien, on one occasion was seen pleading to Singh to come down to the well but the latter refused to raise his voice against Modi government.
Trinamool MP Saugata Bose recently surprised many in the party as he sought punishment for “people who squandered money belonging to ordinary people”. Bose’s comments came at a time when his party has termed the CBI’s arrest of Trinamool leaders over Saradha scam as political vendetta.
Another Trinamool MP in the Upper House, who had been grilled by the CBI on Saradha scam, went into a ‘silent mode’ in the last session in Parliament.
Sensing a growing uneasiness within the Trinamool, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hopeful of a major defection in its rival party in West Bengal.
“There are so many who are keeping in regular touch. There are MPs, MLAs and leaders. They will very soon be a part of us. For some of them it is a question of waiting a little bit more,” said Rahul Sinha, BJP president in Bengal.
Trinamool’s chief whip in Lok Sabha, Kalyan Banerjee, a staunch Banejree loyalist, also raised a few eyebrows when he praised the PM at a small gathering at Lok Sabha Speaker’s chamber. “Earlier people were crazy about Nehru jacket. Now, Modi jacket is a rage,” Banerjee told Modi.
West Bengal BJP is of the opinion that as top TMC leadership comes closer to interrogation and possible arrest, the rebel faction would come out in the open. The party expects this to take place midway or late next year just before the crucial assembly polls in 2016.
The BJP's rise in Bengal has sparked speculations about new equations in the state's political arena where the saffron brigade was a fringe player till recently.
However, banking on Narendra Modi's poll promises on development, the party bagged an impressive 16.8% vote share in the April-May Lok Sabha elections. Even though the BJP won just two of the 42 seats, it made an impact.