West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress received another blow with former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee joining the BJP, which stunned critics with a stellar show in this year’s parliamentary election. Chatterjee’s close confidant Baisakhi Banerjee also joined the BJP with him.
Mamata Banerjee had asked Chatterjee to step down as Kolkata mayor in November last year, after matters relating to his personal life made headlines, creating discomfort for his party. Chatterjee was also a minister in the West Bengal government and is currently a member of the legislative assembly.
He is among several of those who have deserted TMC and joined the BJP after the latter won 18 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats – 4 short of Trinamool’s tally of 22. “Sovan had a big contribution in making Mamata Banerjee the chief minister of Bengal,” said BJP leader Mukul Roy, also a former confidant of the Trinamool Congress leader. “Sovan joining the BJP is a big development in Bengal politics.”
Roy claimed with the Wednesday development the BJP will surely win Kolkata Corporation, and Mamata’s party will get opposition’s status in state assembly.
BJP general secretary Arun Singh claimed people and Trinamool Congress leaders are disappointed with the working of Mamata Banerjee. “Several people are joining BJP because they are impressed with the leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah,” Singh said.
The former Kolkata mayor said he had raised within the Trinamool Congress the issue of stopping opposition parties from contesting the panchayat elections, but nobody listened to him. “Modi government is taking bold steps to strengthen the country,” Chatterjee said. “There should be no negative politics at this point of time.”