When asked if the Karnataka unit of Congress is united, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday told ANI that exodus to other parties is going on from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which shows that there is dissatisfaction inside BJP and not the Congress.
Putting an end to all speculation, BJP state secretary and former Mayor of Bidhannagar Municipality, Sabyasachi Dutta, returned to Trinamool Congress on Thursday, two years after leaving the party for the saffron camp.
Dutta took the party flag from state Commerce and Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee at the latter’s room in the Assembly, a few yards away from the Central Hall where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took oath as an MLA just a few minutes before. State Transport Minister Firhad Hakim was also present on the occasion.
Speaking to the media after the ceremony, Dutta said, “I was an MLA from 2011 to 2021, besides serving as the Mayor of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation. And everything was possible because of Mamata Banerjee. I cannot deny the fact that I left the party because of some misunderstanding. I wanted to come back and she (Banerjee) has accepted me. I shall work the way the party wants me to work.”
Dutta, who switched over to the BJP in October 2019 and unsuccessfully contested the Assembly elections from Bidhannagar earlier this year, losing to Sujit Bose of Trinamool, had given enough hints of severing ties with the saffron camp.
Speaking to the media on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident on Wednesday, Dutta had said, “I have seen the incident on the television. It is not important to whom the vehicle belongs to… It is a tragic incident and the people responsible for it should be hanged.”
“This cannot be a method to throttle any movement. This is a democratic country. We are not living under a Taliban government,” he had said on Section 144 of CrPC being imposed by the Yogi Adiyanath-led Uttar Pradesh government.
The remarks had further fuelled the speculation that Dutta’s days in the BJP were numbered.
The speculation was even more convincing because there were already rumours in the political circles that Dutta had got in touch with the Trinamool leadership and it was only a matter of time before he returned to his previous party.
However, party insiders were of the opinion that Dutta’s entry into the party won’t be smooth because of stiff resistance from the local leadership.
Dutta shared a tainted relationship with Bidhannagar MLA and state minister Sujit Bose and also with the MLA from Rajarhat Newtown, Tapas Chatterjee, who had expressed their reservation about the ‘ghar-wapsi’ of the former Trinamool MLA.