In yet another setback for Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC), its MLA from West Bengal's Alipurduar district’s Kalchini constituency Wilson Champramary and 14 out of 18 councillors of South Dinajpur Zilla Parishad joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday in present of senior BJP leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya, Mukul Roy and Dilip Ghosh Holding a press conference in New Delhi, Vijayvargiya said 10 councillors joined the BJP in the national capital, while other four joined in West Bengal.
Speaking on the occasion, Roy said: "It's an earthquake, since the almost all the councillors of the Zila Parishad joined the BJP. It's unprecedented."
Champramary earlier said that despite being a ruling party MLA, he failed to bring the development in his constituency and leaders sitting in Kolkata had been deciding the work to be done in Kalchini.
“I am an MLA and yet, I could not bring about development in my constituency independently. Every work that has to be taken up in Kalchini is being planned by Trinamul leaders in Calcutta. I had told the party and ministers to draw up plans for the socio-economic development of people belonging to communities like Mech, Rava and Bodo. But nothing has been done so far. I am upset and so decided to join the BJP,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
Following BJP’s stunning performance in the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, several leaders from Mamata Banerjee’s party are defecting to the saffron party.
On June 17, Trinamool Congress legislator and 15 councillors of the party in West Bengal joined the BJP. Noapara MLA Sunil Singh, along with the 15 TMC councillors and another Congress councillor, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of general secretary and West Bengal in-charge Vijayvargiya, and senior leader Mukul Roy.
Sunil Singh is a relative of MP Arjun Singh, who switched over from the TMC to the BJP just ahead of the recent Lok Sabha polls and won the Barrackpore seat. Roy, once the second-in-command in the TMC after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said 10 legislators from various parties had joined the BJP so far.
The BJP leader alleged that under the leadership of Banerjee, democracy had vanished from the state.
On May 28, 50-60 councillors and at least one member of legislative Assembly (MLA) of the TMC joined the BJP at the latter’s headquarters in New Delhi. Besides, one MLA each of the Congress party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) also crossed over to the BJP.
Saying this was just the beginning, Vijayvargiya, clarified this exercise of switching sides en masse was no horse trading but a change of heart among councilors and MLAs from West Bengal.