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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Three Bengal Opposition leaders including a TMC MP join BJP

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: The Trinamool Congress had expelled Bolpur MP Anupam Hazra and Bihnupur MP Saumitra Khan earlier this year. Hazra joined the BJP on Tuesday.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 13, 2019 10:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Lok Sabha Elections 2019,Elections Updates,Election live updates
TMC MP Anupam Hazra (in green jacket) was among some opposition leaders who joined BJP in presence of senior party leaders Mukul Roy (C) and Kailash Vijayvargiya (R), in New Delhi, Tuesday, March 12, 2019.(PTI)

Three opposition leaders from West Bengal, including a sitting Lok Sabha MP of the Trinamool Congress, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi on Tuesday. Bolpur MP Anupam Hazra, three-term MLA Khagen Murmu of the CPM from Habibpur in Malda district and Congress MLA Dulal Chandra Bar from Bagda in North 24 Parganas joined the BJP.

“A fresh beginning,” Hazra wrote on his Facebook page and posted a smiling photograph with BJP general secretary in-charge of West Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya. The Trinamool Congress had expelled Hazra and Bihnupur MP Saumitra Khan earlier this year. Khan joined the BJP in January.

“There is a wave in favour of the BJP. People from three different parties joined the BJP. This is just a trailer of what lies in store,” said BJP leader Mukul Roy, a former confidant of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

Vijayvargiya added that “more leaders from Bengal will join the BJP in near future.”

A BJP leader, who asked not to be identified, claimed the party has reached out to former union minister and Congress leader Deepa Dashmunshi.

The wife of veteran Congressman, the late Priyaranjan Dashmunshi, Dashmunshi is a staunch critic of Mamata Banerjee and lost the previous parliamentary election from Raiganj to CPM’s Mohammad Salim by a margin of 1634 votes.

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The Congress is in talks with the CPM for an understanding in West Bengal, and the Raiganj Lok Sabha seat is one of the bones of contention.

“We have asked her (Dashmunshi) to join the BJP and contest Raiganj on our ticket. She has to take a call,” the BJP leader said.

Another BJP leader said Trinamool Congress strongman and Bhatpara MLA Arjun Singh too reached Delhi last night to conclude his negotiations with the BJP, but subsequently changed his mind and returned to Kolkata on Tuesday.

Singh is eyeing a ticket from Barrackpore, currently held by former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi. “Trivedi figured in the Trinamool Congress’ list of candidate for the Lok Sabha election. We expect Singh to consider the BJP offer now,” the second BJP leader said.

The TMC’s list was announced on Tuesday afternoon.

First Published: Mar 13, 2019 10:42 IST