TMC members 'humiliated', leaving the party, says state BJP chief
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh said on Monday that there was nothing worse than Trinamool Congress (TMC) members feeling humiliated and leaving it only to be replaced by celebrities. "What can be worse than their (TMC) own members feeling humiliated and eventually leaving the party? Now they are getting celebrities to fill the position. Numbers suggest that we have the majority in Malda and the BJP will soon have its chairman (Zilla Parishad) in the district," Ghosh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Ghosh's comments come the day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a BJP rally at Kolkata's Brigade Parade Ground, where senior actor and a state icon Mithun Chakraborty joined the BJP.
Five TMC legislators—Sonali Guha, Dipendu Biswas, Rabindranath Bhattacharya, Jatu Lahiri and Sital Kumar Sardar—and the ruling party’s candidate from Habibpur, Sarala Murmu, also joined the BJP on Monday. The six have joined a substantial group of the ruling party’s leaders, including seniors like Suvendu Adhikari, Dinesh Trivedi and Rajib Banerjee, who have switched over to the BJP ahead of the West Bengal assembly election.
As the dates of the state's assembly polls edge closer, the BJP has been ramping up its campaign with big names like Prime Minister Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath addressing rallies in Kolkata and Malda respectively. Adityanath, in his rally, had raised the issues of illegal cow slaughter and 'love jihad' in the state. He also questioned the safety of women in Bengal, to which TMC leaders asked him to take a look at his own state.
The polling process for the West Bengal assembly elections will be a long, drawn-out process, spanning over eight phases and stretching over a month. It will commence on March 27 and will go on until April 29.
Despite a dismal performance in the 2016 polls, the BJP is hopeful of grabbing power in the state after an encouraging result during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when it won 19 out of 42 parliamentary seats. The three parties that are fighting for power in the state are the BJP, the ruling TMC and the Left-Congress-ISF alliance.