BJP grappling to keep party intact in West Bengal

 Mukul Roy was the first one to leave the BJP and rejoin the Trinamool Congress but he is not the last because several frontline leaders who had joined the BJP before the election are re-establishing contact with the Trinamool top brass, clearly indicating their disillusionment about the saffron brigade and giving it a tough time to stem the impending exodus.

In the last few days, after Roy’s switchback, several high-profile leaders including Rajib Banerjee and Sovan Chatterjee, along with Baisakhi Banerjee, have met Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee whose mother died a few days back. Though both of them termed it to be a courtesy visit, insiders in the party indicated that the return of Rajib Banerjee or Sovan Chatterjee is only a matter of time.

Asked about it, Chatterjee said: “Today I came here to express my solidarity with Partha Chatterjee. I came when his wife died. So don’t mix it up with politics.”

However, he added: “The day I was arrested by CBI… it was black day for me but our Chief Minister despite all the differences called me and stood firmly behind me along with the other three who were also arrested by CBI. I am grateful to her from the core of my heart.”

“Our Chief Minister considers him (Sovan) to be a part of her family and so it is hard to understand their relationship. We are grateful to her for her kindness,” Baisakhi Banerjee said. “We have left a place and now we are in the present state. We have neither lost any election nor we were a part of the election campaign,” she added.

Interestingly enough a day before the duo met Partha Chatterjee, former Trinamool minister Rajib Banerjee, who had joined the BJP before the election, met Partha Chatterjee. However, both of them were tight-lipped about the meeting but quite some time, Rajib Banerjee came in open protest against BJP’s criticism of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and said that the party should accept the mandate and work for the people of the state.

Another turncoat Prabir Ghosal, who went to the BJP along with Rajib Banerjee was in high praise for party supremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew and new national General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee.

Similarly, several former Trinamool MLAs like Sonali Guha and others have expressed their willingness to return back to the Trinamool.

The situation is such that state BJP President Dilip Ghosh had to come out with an open statement. “BJP is the largest party in the world and we have accepted the people who wanted to come to our party. We never insisted them to join and now if they feel that they will leave the party, it is their choice. But one thing everyone should understand, that if you want to stay in this party, you will have to sacrifice. If someone comes only for post and power, they cannot stay,” Ghosh said.

But it is true that the long queue in the BJP to rejoin the Trinamool is worrying the state BJP leaders.

“Our party should have been more careful in accepting people from other parties. We don’t belong to the same culture. Our ethics and ideology are completely different from other political parties and so it was a mistake to accept them without any kind of orientation. It will create a bad impression on the people. Next time we should be more careful,” a senior BJP leader said.

Meanwhile, there have also been protests in several areas against taking back these “traitors” back into the Trinamool. There were protests in Domjur in Howrah and several areas in Hooghly against Rajib Banerjee and Ghosal, and it is certain that it wouldn’t be easy for these leaders to return back to the party.

“The Chief Minister has made it very clear that those who used foul language against the party will not be accepted. She will take the final call but one thing is certain that it will be decided on a case to case basis,” Trinamool state General Secretary Kunal Ghosh said.