Kolkata: Reports of infighting and rifts within the West Bengal unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been making headlines recently. Commenting on the issue of turncoats seemingly expressing their wish to return to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) fold, BJP MP from Bishnupur Saumitra Khan said “those who have no spine” will make efforts to rejoin the ruling party. Khan’s remarks come hours after Rajib Banerjee on Tuesday said “people will not take kindly to threats of President’s rule” against a government elected with a huge mandate. Taking a dig at Banerjee, Khan took to social media and said “Remaining silent when 42 BJP workers have been killed indicates support for the ruling party… Are you seeking re-entry into your old party because you could not become a minister?”
A former minister in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet, Banerjee joined the BJP before the assembly elections, however, he failed to retain the Domjur seat in Howrah district, from where he was fielded by the saffron party. He refused to elaborate on Tuesday’s comment, maintaining that he had said what he wanted to.
On Wednesday, the streets of Domjur, posters proclaiming “those who betray Mamata Banerjee have no place in Bengal” were posted on walls. It is not known who was behind the act. “(Traitor) Mir Jafar will not be allowed to be back in Domjur,” read one of the posters, which was allegedly placed on behalf of local TMC workers.
Several TMC turncoats including former MLAs Sonali Guha and Dipendu Biswas have come forward and expressed their willingness to rejoin the Mamata Banerjee camp. While several others who are also hopeful to return, have been reportedly sending feelers to the party leadership.
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee’s recent visit to senior BJP leader Mukul Roy’s ailing wife in hospital has paved way for speculations about a possible change in the equation between them. Roy was conspicuous by his absence in Tuesday’s meeting called by the state BJP leadership.
Meanwhile, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh has been facing protests at different places from agitated grassroots workers, who have alleged that turncoats were responsible for the party’s poor show in the assembly elections. The pre-poll stage also witnessed protests being staged at BJP offices across the state over tickets being given to some turncoats soon after joining the party.
(With inputs from PTI)