Chandan Mitra, the two-time Rajya Sabha MP on Saturday termed as absurd the proclamation made by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah that the BJP will win 22 of West Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in next year’s general election.

“I know the BJP President has been claiming that they are going to win 22 out of 42. The Trinamool Congress holds 34 as of now. I don’t see any possibility of the number of seats going up to the figures that have been suggested by the BJP,” said Mitra, who quit the BJP in July and joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC), in Kolkata.

“I don’t see any serious possibility of Mamata Banerjee’s popularity being dented, and the party’s seats coming down,” he said.

Explaining his decision to quit the BJP, Mitra said that he felt “suffocated”, as he could not adjust to the changed culture within the BJP under the new leadership of Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“For a long time I was feeling kind of suffocated and out of sorts in the BJP. Today’s BJP is not the same BJP that I had joined under the guidance of Atal ji and Advani ji,” he added.

(With agency inputs)