An exodus from the ruling Trinamul Congress is set to happen on 19 December, when Mr Suvendu Adhikari and as many as 22 disgruntled MLAs and MPs of the party are likely to join BJP during Union home minister Amit Shah’s rally at Midnapore College ground.

A day after resigning from the state legislative Assembly as an MLA on Wednesday, Mr Adhikari, former minister in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet, today also quit Trinamul Congress as a member.

A close associate of Mr Adhikari told The Statesman today, “There will be an exodus from the Trinamul following resignation of an army of MLAs, MPs and other leaders from the party in different phases.”

“Dada (Mr Adhikari) along with around 20 to 22 MLAs and MPs would join BJP during the party’s rally scheduled on Saturday at Midnapore College Ground where Mr Amit Shah will speak. I will also join the BJP during the programme,” the associate, who requested anonymity, said,

The associate was one of six to seven Trinamul Congress leaders who were present in the meeting between Mr Adhikari and and party MP Sunil Mondal, another disgruntled leader, held at the latter’s West Burdwan district residence on Wednesday evening.

Trinamul MLAs Jitendra Tiwari, Dipatangshu Chakraborty, Biswajit Kundu and Nurul Hasan, a member of the East Burdwan Zilla Parishad, were among those at the meeting. Saikat Panja, TMC MLA of Kalna in East Burdwan district, was also supposed to attend the meeting, but could not owing to “unavoidable” circumstances, according to a close follower of Mr Adhikari.

Mr Tiwari, the former Asansol mayor, today resigned as chairman of the Asansol Municipal Corporation board of administrators and president of the West Burdwan Trinamul Congress.

Two other Trinamul MPs of Nadia and North 24- Parganas districts have also been in contact with the saffron camp, according to a BJP insider.

“A huge number of Trinamul MLAs, MPs and leaders holding posts in different bodies run by the party in Kolkata and districts are in regular touch with Dada expressing their desire to stay with him wherever he goes. He is not going to Delhi this week and will kick off his political programme after Mr Shah’s rally in Midnapore on Saturday,” Mr Hasan told The Statesman. “I was the founder president of the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad in the undivided Burdwan district and a four-time member of the ZP. But it’s frustrating that the party leadership is appointing dishonest leaders in different important portfolios. I have also decided to leave Trinamul,” Mr Hasan said.