In another big blow to Mamata Banerjee and her party Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal, senior TMC leader, Saumitra Khan joined the BJP. Saumitra khan is known for being a go-getter person and his suspension from party clearly portrays that ‘all is not well’ within the Trinamool Congress.
This is not the first case, as earlier, Anupam Hazra MP from Bolpur was also expelled from the party after being accused of “anti-party activities”. After the suspension, Saumitra Khan joined the BJP at the party headquarters in Delhi in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha and senior party leader Mukul Roy. Hazra is also likely to join the saffron party soon.
While TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said that Khan had been expelled from the party following corruption charges and Hazra had been dismissed because of his anti-party activities.
Both Khan and Hazra refuted charges leveled against by the TMC. Khan said that he never indulged in corrupt practices and Hazra too brushed aside the allegations saying “I have neither been named in Saradha or Narada scams and neither have I raised money taking Mamata’s name or using my position. My only offence was my posts which the party found offensive and last year itself I had got rid of my Facebook profile”. Further, Anupam Hazra questioned the TMC’s definition of anti-party activities and argued, “What is the definition of ‘anti-party activities’? I hope they tell me. How can writing on Facebook on contemporary issues be dubbed as anti-party activity?”
Whereas, Khan blamed ‘syndicate raj’ in West Bengal for switching camps and said, “There is a syndicate raj and police raj in Bengal, especially in Bankura district. Democracy doesn’t exist in Bengal and the entire state is being ruled by ‘pishi’ and ‘bhaipo’ (aunty and nephew, referring to Mamata and Abhishek Banerjee). The law and order situation of Bengal is deteriorating day by day and Trinamool Congress is supporting goondas”. Saumitra further added that he had joined BJP getting inspiration from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’. Whatsoever is the case, but the departure of important leaders from TMC clearly indicates that the party is on the verge of breaking.
In recent times, TMC leaders have quitting the party and joining the BJP has become a trend. In the month of June last year, former TMC minister Humayun Kabir joined the BJP. Prior to this, one of the founding members of TMC- Mukul Roy– had also joined the BJP. In another instance, TMC Assam unit chief Dipen Pathak and two other state leaders resigned from the TMC owing to irreconcilable differences with Mamata Banerjee over the draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC). Overall, there is a decisive shift in West Bengal in favour of BJP.
TMC through its propaganda machinery is desperately trying to prove that everything is well within the party but reports narrate a contrary story. TMC seems to be ignoring the violence unleashed by its cadre against political opponents. It is very clear from the ‘switching of camps’ in West Bengal that the saffron wave is ready to uproot TMC.