Bengal BJP seems to be unable to impede the erosion of their leaders who had joined the saffron camp before the 2021 Assembly polls in which the TMC riding on their party supremo Mamata Banerjee pummeled them with an enhanced majority but she lost.
In the recent bypolls, TMC winds have ravaged BJP hopes as they lost all the three seats with Miss Banerjee sealing a record margin, shattering her past electoral records.
Bengal BJP has also seen reshuffle at the top with former unit chief Dilip Ghosh being replaced by Sukanta Majumdar and yet speculations mount that many BJP leaders are likely to join TMC.
Following indications that Sabyasachi Dutta might change camps, four more legislators may sail in his ship towards TMC.
BJP president JP Nadda has now intervened.
Hiran Chattopadhyay from Kharagpur in West Midnapore, Niraj Jimba from Darjeeling, Sukumar Roy from Cooch Behar (North), and Dibakar Gharami from Sonamukhi in Bankura district have been absent from various party programmes and had also skipped important meetings of the legislators last week where Majumdar was present.
If Dutta decides to leave, he might find these four MLAs as co-passengers.
Whispers hinted that they have got some signal from the TMC. The BJP, however, has dismissed the speculations.
“They could not attend the programme because of some personal reasons. However, at some places, the Trinamool is trying to put pressure on our MLAs and also spreading rumours about them. None of the BJP legislators are quitting the party. These are all baseless rumours propagated by Trinamool Congress,” a senior BJP legislator said.
Meanwhile, party MP Locket Chatterjee has also been absent in several party programmes.
BJP figures showed 77 in 2021 Assembly polls, which reduced to 75 when Nishith Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar decided to retain their MP post. It further dwindled to 71 when four BJP MLAs resigned.
Another legislator Krishna Kalyani recently left the party, bringing down the number to 70. He has not joined the Trinamool yet, but is likely to do so soon.
Sources said that if the number of MLAs slip to 69, BJP’s prospects in Rajya Sabha polls from the state will suffer. With the present strength, the BJP can send two members to the Upper House of the Parliament.