Ahead of the legislative assembly elections scheduled to take place in West Bengal in the summer of 2021, a number of disgruntled TMC leaders are on an exodus spree. Realising the inevitable downfall of Mamata Banerjee, the leaders have started abandoning the sinking ship to join parties with better political prospects. BJP has come out as a worthy alternative to Mamata Banerjee’s tyrant rule.
The most recent of such TMC leaders abandoning the ship is Suvendu Adhikari. On Friday, he resigned as the West Bengal Minister for Transport, Irrigation and Water Resources, and Chairman of Haldia Development Authority. He also gave up his official state government security.
On his resignation, his father, Sisir Adhikari said, “He (Suvendu) feels hurt by personal attacks and unwanted statements given against him by a section (of the party).”
After this, sources in the BJP are now claiming that Suvendu will soon join them. A senior BJP leader said, “It (Adhikari joining BJP) is going to happen. Now that he has quit the (Mamata Banerjee) government, joining the BJP will be the natural course of action.” Sources also said that Adhikari has been in touch with BJP leaders for some time now.
According to sources, since Suvendu Adhikari’s resignation, TMC has taken an action against 5 of his close aides. The timing of these series of actions indicates that Mamata Bannerjee is apparently penalising those leaders for Suvendu’s decision to leave the party. If this witch-hunting by Bannerjee goes further, the only plausible outcome will for those leaders be following Adhikari’s footsteps.
This comes after TMC MLA from Cooch Behar Dakshin, Mihir Goswami joined the BJP in Delhi on Friday, hours after resigning from the tyrant party. On joining, he said, “I feel very happy to announce that I have today joined as a member of BJP. I have also resigned from the TMC today. I would like to call it a crusade against the immoral and incorrect happenings in our state… (and) I look forward to a new era of politics in Bengal in line with the vision of our beloved Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The exodus of these 2 leaders is not a sole occurrence as more are in the offing. According to BJP leaders, negotiations with at least two more ministers in the Mamata Cabinet are “almost final”.
Another state minister and TMC leader, Rajib Banerjee, slammed the party leadership on Saturday. He said, “Those who are doing well those with ability… they are sidelined in TMC. The score of those who applaud the team is higher. My score is low because I can’t. It is important to find out why the leaders are so angry. These issues should have been thought about earlier. Those who work in the field do not get the upper hand. Power seekers are getting a place in the team. It is difficult to say… [in TMC] good is bad, bad is good.”
Commenting on the exodus of disgruntled TMC leaders, senior BJP leader said, “The TMC’s violent and vindictive politics has created an atmosphere of fear, and even our existing cadre are either frightened or are unable to work freely. Getting influential and efficient leaders who would paralyse the TMC while strengthening the BJP is the only option we have.”
The BJP’s fortunes as the leading alternative to TMC had emerged after the Lok Sabha elections last year when the party had amassed 18 seats in the state. While the party’s performance had been tremendous in all the states, the result in West Bengal was the cherry on top of the cake. Traditionally a left stronghold and then dominated by TMC, this is the first time that BJP had opened its account in the state with 18 seats, bringing down TMC’s tally to 22. Taking that high point ahead, since the last year, BJP has been working through the ranks, garnering the support of the people and the veteran leaders to increase their popularity in the state.
On the exodus of the leaders, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “This is the beginning of Trinamool Congress’s end in Bengal. No one is happy under autocratic rule. Not even ministers and leaders. We have been hearing for some time now that he (Suvendu) is going to leave. Suvendu is welcome in the BJP, and he will be given due respect. If he leaves the Trinamool Congress, one by one all youth leaders will leave too.”
Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP general secretary in charge of West Bengal, said, “It is now clear that the arrogance of Mamata Banerjee and the corruption of her nephew (MP from Diamond Harbour Abhishek Banerjee) has started upsetting party leaders. This is just the beginning, and more leaders will quit the TMC. No leader with self-respect can continue in that party.”
West Bengal is one of the most backward states in the country, largely untouched by the development of the last few years due to the apathy of the communist government and subsequently, the TMC regime. The people and more importantly, the ground level leaders are realising that and are choosing to switch to the BJP, a party which aims for real and inclusive development.
When the seasoned, popular leaders switch ranks to join BJP, not only do they bring with them years of political experience, but also, a loyal band of grassroots level support. BJP needs strong leaders for the booth level to connect in the state, which Mamata Banerjee is obliviously handing out to them. TMC’s arrogance, corruption and oppression, is BJP’s gain.
This series of exodus indicates how TMC’s own leaders are losing trust in Mamata Banerjee’s governance model. The TMC supremo has heavily relied on the grassroots level leaders to connect with the people, which are now abandoning her ahead of the crucial assembly elections, signifying her inevitable downfall. Since the past many decades Mamata has used violence and threats to establish and continue her regime; now she will get her comeuppance.