Ahead of the overhyped Bengal assembly polls, the internal rifts among the ranks of TMC and BJP – the two main contenders – have once again come out in the open.
Earlier this week, the outgoing Pandaveshwar MLA Jitendra Tiwari defected the TMC and switched over to BJP. After a failed effort earlier, his successful induction this time has enraged the traditional BJP cadres in Bengal’s Asansol.
According to a report by Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin, the saffron party workers have started writing walls against Tiwari in Pandaveshwar. They have also threatened to field independent candidates if he gets the BJP ticket from there.
Former Asansol Mayor and two-time TMC MLA Tiwari, who had rebelled against the TMC leadership but had mellowed down after the BJP declined to induct him into the party in December last year, joined the saffron camp in the presence of party state chief Dilip Ghosh at a programme in Sreerampur in Hooghly district.
“I have joined the BJP as I want to work for the development of the state. In TMC, it was no longer possible to work for the party,” he said after joining the saffron party.
On the other hand, the ruling TMC witnessed a similar situation at Bally in Hooghly district. In an organisational meeting, attended by TMC’s poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s team, the local party workers issued an ultimatum against outsider candidates.
Since 2011 when TMC came to power in Bengal, Bally hasn’t had a local face as an MLA. Sultan Singh in 2011 and Vaishali Dalmiya in 2016 had won there in the TMC ticket.
As a result, the local leadership has claimed, the party’s organisational strength and regional development suffered setbacks.
“How could anyone who was not there in Trinamool from the first day would understand the significance of the party? Bally has suffered a lot. So if again any outsider is given the ticket, we’ll not work for the party in this election,” a local councilor was quoted as saying by Bengali portal The Wall.
That Dalmiya, who has now switched over to BJP, never had a cordial connection with TMC’s regional workers and cadres was an open secret in Hooghly’s political cricle. While leaving TMC, she had also alleged that she did not have complete freedom to work in her constitutency.