December 07, 2021

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‘Impossible to work in BJP’: Ex-TMC lawmaker’s U-turn on civic poll eve

‘Impossible to work in BJP’: Ex-TMC lawmaker’s U-turn on civic poll eve

KOLKATA: Nine months after his Delhi-bound chartered flight to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Union home minister Amit Shah’s residence along with five Trinamool Congress (TMC) rebels, former Bengal lawmaker Prabir Ghosal attacked his new party on Wednesday, saying it was “impossible for anyone to work in the BJP”.

Taking the BJP leadership by surprise, Prabir Ghosal, who joined the TMC on the eve of the 2016 assembly polls and won the Uttarpara seat before switching to the BJP in January, wrote an article for Wednesday’s edition of Jago Bangla, the ruling TMC’s official mouthpiece.

“The number of people who ask for money all the time outnumbers those who work for the BJP,” Ghosal wrote in his piece which strongly criticized the saffron camp.

On January 30, Shah welcomed former TMC minister Rajib Banerjee and a group of rebels into the BJP at his Delhi residence. Banerjee, who was Bengal’s forest minister, resigned from the Domjur assembly seat in Howrah district a day before taking the chartered flight.

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Those who joined the BJP along with Banerjee in January were Vaishali Dalmiya, the then MLA from Bally in Howrah who had been expelled by the TMC; Prabir Ghosal, the then MLA from Uttarpara in Hooghly district; Rathin Chakraborty, former mayor of Howrah town; Partha Sarathi Chatterjee, former MLA from Ranaghat in Nadia district and actor Rudranil Ghosh.

In the March-April assembly polls, Rajib Banerjee, Dalmiya, Ghosal, Chakraborty and Ghosh lost to the TMC.

Rajib Banerjee returned to the TMC on October 31. Prabir Ghosal did distance himself from the BJP after the verdict was announced on May 2 but hasn’t walked out of the party yet. The other three also are seen in very few BJP events.

“All I have seen in these nine months is BJP leaders and workers in my district asking for money from me for holding party programmes, be it a street-corner meeting or a rally,” Ghosal said on Wednesday afternoon.

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“Also, there are so many factions in the BJP’s old organisation that anybody will lose count. I find it quite impossible to work here. No state BJP leader has contacted me in months,” he said. The article published in the TMC mouthpiece was seen to signal Ghosal’s exit. But he claimed that he hasn’t spoken with “any senior TMC leader so far about returning to the party”.

BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh rubbished his allegations and stressed that Ghosal can just walk out of the party.

“If Ghosal wants to return to the TMC, he is free to do so. Why is he maligning the BJP by levelling false allegations? I was the state president till September. He never came to me with his complaints. He is making up stories to impress Mamata Banerjee,” said Ghosh.

On Wednesday afternoon, the chief minister said at an administrative meeting that civic body elections, which are long overdue, will be held in Kolkata and Howrah first and will be followed by elections in other districts. There are 120-odd civic bodies across Bengal.

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Within hours, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar announced two election committees for Howrah and Kolkata. While Vaishali Dalmiya and Rudranil Ghosh were made co-in-charge of the Kolkata committee, Rathin Chakraborty was put in charge of the committee for Howrah.

Several BJP leaders said this was an effort to keep the TMC turncoats in good humour on the eve of the civic polls.

Although the BJP bagged 77 assembly seats six months ago, five legislators have joined the TMC since June and the party lost two seats in the October 30 bypolls which had to be held because the winners did not take oath in the assembly to retain their Lok Sabha seats.

Doonited Affiliated: Syndicate News Hunt

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