Former Trinamool Congress (TMC) strong man and BJP’s Barrackpore Lok Sabha candidate Arjun Singh on Tuesday said at least 100 TMC MLAs would soon join BJP as they are completely disenchanted with the TMC Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s style of functioning and promoting her coterie.
He alleged that Banerjee’s MP nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, had never been in the thick of politics by fighting against the CPI-M with the help of people. “He is born with a silver spoon and has become the prince of TMC with the blessings of his aunt Mamata Banerjee. He has been conducting elections with the help of police and administration. He has no idea about the power of people. He will have a taste of it this time,” he said.
Singh had recently quit TMC and joined the BJP. He is the chairman of the Bhatpara municipality and the MLA Bhatpara.
When asked whether another TMC MLA and Bidhannagar municipality chairman Sabyasachi Dutta would join the BJP, he said, “Just wait, you will see at least 100 TMC MLAs, including Mr Dutt, join the BJP.”
Earlier, Arjun Singh wanted the ticket to the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat and made no secret of his aspiration. He is on record alleging that the people of Barrackpore were not happy with the sitting MP Dinesh Trivedi. But Trivedi had been renominated.
Singh did not hide his disappointment. He later flew to Delhi and showed up at the BJP headquarters. The BJP had announced a major joining from Trinamool. Banerjee, who was aware of Arjun Singh’s disaffection, had said, there are some greedy people who want tickets that she was unable to give.
“They may change sides. I say good riddance. They will understand what Trinamool is only after they have left,” she said earlier. Singh was present at her home-office complex but was clearly unhappy.
She had again called Arjun Singh at the media centre while announcing the Trinamool candidates. He had reluctantly come in, stood sulking for a while and then slunk out. Later, Banerjee had met both Dinesh Trivedi and Arjun Singh jointly.
Singh was reportedly offered a ministerial berth but that was clearly not good enough.
Arjun Singh is the third prominent Trinamool leader to join the BJP in the last few weeks after Bishnupur lawmaker Soumitra Khan and Bolpur lawmaker Anupam Hazra, both of whom were simultaneously expelled.
Arjun Singh is a four-term MLA from Bhatpara, with a hold in several other Assembly segments in the Barrackpore Parliamentary seat and in North 24 Parganas district.