South Dinajpur BJP leaders Bipllab Mitra and his brother Prashanta Mitra are all set to rejoin the party they had ditched around two years ago-the Trinamool Congress.
TMC leaders said Mr Mitra will be re-inducted in the party in the presence of state leaders and amid a small event at Trinamool Bhawan in Kolkata tomorrow.
“The joining date had been fixed for 30 July, but due to the death of Congress leader Somen Mitra, the programme has been postponed to Friday,” a party source said.
Supporters of Bipllab Mitra, the former TMC district president, have already started preparations in the district and several posters and banners are being printed for welcome gates to be erected in the district. Observers, meanwhile, said the political equation will be changed in the district after the joining of the Mitras in the TMC.
BJP leaders, on the other hand, claimed the two leaders’ departure will not affect the party. The two Mitra brothers had switched sides to the BJP after they fell out with TMC leader Arpita Ghosh.
“After Goutam Das, who joined the TMC from the Congress with the help of Bipllab Mitra, was made the district TMC president recently, it was clear that Mr Mitra would return to the party,” TMC sources said.
Bipllab Mitra was replaced as the TMC president by Mrs Ghosh after the party put up a poor show in the parliamentary elections. A few months later, Mr Mitra joined the BJP with a maximum number of Zilla Parishad members, and he had back then declared that the TMC would be wiped out of South Dinajpur within 90 days. Mrs Ghosh, however, managed to bring back the Zilla Parishad members and some followers of Mr Mitra back in the TMC fold.
On the other hand, a group of councillors of the Gangarampur Municipality voted against the then chairman, Prashanta Mitra, who was ousted from his post. “Dada will change the situation of the party in the district. We were waiting for him. Without Bipllab Mitra, no one can save the party. We were against the decision to appoint a district president from outside the district. We will give our leader a grand welcome,” said one follower, Bappaditya Mandal.
District TMC president Mr Das said, “I don’t know anything. This is a state decision. If the party instructs me to work with him, I have to go for that as we are followers of Miss Mamata Banerjee.”
BJP leader and district general secretary, Bapi Sarkar, said the development is a good example of an “old wine in an old bottle.”
“The Trinamool Congress is trying to save its existence by any means. And let them try permutation and combination theory to save themselves. People have decided to change TMC in the next elections,” he said.