‘Golden moment’: TMC ex-MP Trivedi joins BJP
Former Union railways minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Dinesh Trivedi, who resigned from the Rajya Sabha on the floor of the House in February, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in West Bengal.
Describing his entry into the BJP as a “golden moment”, the 70-year-old took a veiled dig at his former party.
“We are in the social life because country and people are above all... and from my experience, I say we have to work for the people. In the other party, they work for a family… For me, the country is above all,” Trivedi said as he joined the BJP in the presence of party president JP Nadda and Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi.
Trivedi is the latest in the list of TMC leaders, including political heavyweight and minister Suvendu Adhikari and state minister Rajib Banerjee, who switched over to the BJP ahead of the eight-phase state elections, scheduled to begin on March 27.
Welcoming Trivedi to the BJP, Nadda said the former MP paid a price for sticking to his principles while in the TMC. “For principles, he quit the Rajya Sabha seat, he opted for idealism instead of opportunism… In the TMC, corruption, opportunism, and killing the democracy are enshrined, so he quit and joined the BJP.”
On February 12, Trivedi announced his resignation from the Rajya Sabha while participating in the debate on the budget in the House, alleging that he was feeling “suffocated” and saying that he heard the call of his ‘antaratma’ (inner voice).
“The way there is violence, I feel awkward what should I do by sitting here. For us, the homeland is supreme. I am in a party. Party has disciplines. But now I am feeling suffocated. If I am sitting here and can’t do anything, it is better that I resign and go back to Bengal,” he said in Parliament.
Watch | Dinesh Trivedi joins BJP ahead of Bengal polls, slams Trinamool
The former TMC general secretary remained tight-lipped over whether he would contest the state polls. “I’ll be active in the election process, irrespective of whether I contest or not,” he said.
A senior BJP leader, however, said on condition of anonymity that Trivedi was unlikely to contest the upcoming elections. The leader said that before joining the BJP, Trivedi conveyed to the party brass that he would prefer to remain active at the national level.
The TMC accused Trivedi of political opportunism and accused him of “betraying the people of the state”.
“For last so many years, he (Trivedi) did not say anything. Now, just before the state assembly polls, he has made complaints about the party. He is ungrateful and has betrayed people of the state... At a time when he should repay the Trinamool Congress, he has backstabbed it,” TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.
Congress announces 1st list
The Congress on Saturday announced its first list of 13 candidates for the West Bengal assembly elections. According to the list, senior party leader Nepal Mahato has been fielded from the Baghmundi constituency.
The Congress is contesting the West Bengal polls in coalition with the Left parties and the Indian Secular Front (ISF), and is set to contest 92 seats in the 294-member Assembly.
(With agency inputs)