Nine MLAs – six from TMC, one from CPIM, one from CPI and one from Congress – are reportedly set to join BJP at Amit Shah’s mega rally in West Bengal’s Midnapore on Saturday.
According to Bengali portal The Wall, one sitting TMC MP and a former Parliamentarian of Mamata Banerjee’s party will also take up the saffron flag at the rally, which is likely to end the long-running speculations over the political future of Suvendu Adhikari.
Following are the names of nine legislators who will change loyalty:
1. Banasree Maity- Contai North MLA (TMC)
2. Tapasi Mondal – Haldiya Purba MLA (CPIM)
3. Ashok Dinda – Tamluk MLA (CPI)
4. Sudip Mukherjee – Purulia (Congress)
5. Biswajit Kundu – Kalna (TMC)
6. Saikat Panja – Burdwan Purba (TMC)
7. Shilbhadra Dutta – Barrackpore (TMC)
8. Dipali Biswas – Gajol, Maldah (TMC)
9. Sukra Munda – Nagarkata, Jalpaiguri (TMC)
As it was expected, TMC’s Burdwan Purba MP Sunil Mondal will also keep his allegiance with Adhikari and will follow him to the hindutva outfit.
Reportedly ex-parliamentarian Shyama Prasad Mukherjee has also travelled to the venue of Midnapore’s mega rally from the guest house in Kolaghat, where all the defecting TMC leaders were camped.
One of the architects of TMC’s Nandigram revolution and the party’s path to power in 2011, the 50-year-old Adhikari is still a major force of the party’s ground-level organisation in the state and has his loyalists in almost every district in Bengal.
Apart from the above-mentioned elected leaders, some prominent TMC leaders who will reportedly follow suit with Adhikari are Col. Diptangshu Chaudhury, Alipurduar’s Ashish Dutta and Bappa Majumdar, Uttar Dinajpur’s Kartik Pal and Prafulla Barman, former MLAs in Dakshin Dinajpur Satyen Ray and Debashis Majumdar, among others.
Adhikari, the former Minister of Transport, Irrigation and Water resource in Government of West Bengal, will take a total of 42 TMC leaders to the BJP.
TMC, on the other hand, has refused to pay much importance to desertion from these leaders. The Mamata Banerjee-led party has maintained that the recent developments will not cause much damage to its chances of retaining power in the 2021 Assembly polls.