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Four people whom Amit Shah met in Bengal’s Purulia join Trinamool Congress

The four members of a family joined the Trinamool Congress allegedly because Amit Shah was coercing them to join the Bharatiya Janata Party.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2018 23:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Kolkata, Hindustan Times
Amit Shah,Purulia,Trinamool Congress
The acrimony between the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party has increased over the past few months and reached its peak during the recently-concluded panchayat elections. (File photo )

Four members of a family that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah visited on Thursday in Purulia, joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday at the party’s headquarters allegedly because Shah was coercing them to join the BJP.

Phuchu Rajbhar, his mother Astami, Sishubala Rajbhar and her son Sanjay of Lagda village, joined the ruling party in the afternoon in Kolkata.

“They are ordinary people who had no idea what was happening (on Thursday). They were surprised to see someone escorted by policemen and cars with hooters suddenly appearing at their doorstep and asking them to join the BJP. They were threatened by the supremo of the BJP to join the party,” alleged TMC leader Madan Mitra in a press conference after the four joined the party.

“We are not involved in any party politics. They told us to join BJP. We only know Mamata,” said Phuchu Rajbhar.

Phuchu was flanked by Mitra, who was seen prompting him to say that he was asked by the BJP chief to join the party. This was after Rajbhar initially said that those who visited their house a did not ask them to join.

The BJP responded by alleging that TMC leaders were resorting to falsehood and forcing villagers to join their party. “This incident contains the seeds of destruction of the TMC. They cannot intimidate the entire state in this manner,” said BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha.

Phuchu works as a daily labourer and earns about Rs150 a day. “I have a family of five to feed,” he said.

“They were so afraid that they did not waste time to rush to the Trinamool office in Kolkata. They were so scared that they did not even change clothes and have their food, and instead headed for the city for shelter,” claimed Santanu Sen, a TMC Rajya Sabha member who was also present in the press conference.

Lashing out at Shah, Mitra said, “We have earlier seen him having lunch. Now this time none invited him. This time none offered him even a chair. Next time you will not be able to enter.” “The people will not let them enter,” he added.

Incidentally, Gita and Raju Mahali, the tribal couple who hosted lunch for Shah on April 25 last year joined the TMC barely two weeks later.

BJP leaders had alleged the couple was abducted and forced to join the ruling party.

In Purulia, Shah had visited several houses as a part of his ‘Jansampark Abhiyan’. One of those homes belonged to the Rajbhars.

On Thursday evening, Binoy Mitra, general secretary of the Trinamool Youth Congress, paid a visit to the Rajbhar family.

Late on Thursday night, the four set out for Kolkata along with Trinamool’s Purulia district vice-president Manikmoni Mukhopadhyay, said sources.

The acrimony between the ruling TMC and the BJP has increased over the past few months and reached its peak during the recently-concluded panchayat elections.

First Published: Jun 29, 2018 23:01 IST