Sovan Chatterjee, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader who joined BJP recently, said that he is ready to contest against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the 2021 assembly polls if the saffron party wanted it.
Chatterjee, who was once a trusted lieutenant of the TMC supremo, mocked her and the party’s leadership for appointing poll strategist Prashant Kishor to revive its prospects in the next assembly polls.
He also dismissed allegations that he had switched over to the saffron camp to avoid CBI interrogations into the Narada tape scam. He had in the past been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI in connection with the Narada scam.
“When I was in TMC, I was a loyal soldier of that party. Now I have joined the BJP and will be its loyal soldier. I will do whatever my party asks me to do. If they ask me to contest against Mamata Banerjee in next election I will do so,” he said at his first press conference at the state BJP headquarters.
Banerjee represents Bhawanipur Assembly constituency and Chatterjee the Behala Purba seat in the city. He said even during his days in the TMC he had raised his voice in the party over the way the panchayat polls were conducted in the state in 2018. “There had been allegations of rampant violence and malpractices,” he added.
Mocking TMC for appointing Kishor, he said “As a mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation I used to appoint contractors for various jobs. Now TMC is doing the same thing – appointing a contractor (Kishore) to revive its poll prospects. But the contractor will not be able to save the sinking ship of TMC,” he said.
Following reverses in the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal, the TMC has hired Prashant Kishor headed I-PAC to shore up its popularity in the state ahead of the assembly election in 2021.
Reacting to the ridicule, TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said Sovan Chatterjee has forgotten the contributions of Mamata Banerjee in shaping his political career. “He (Sovan Chatterjee) had never said anything in the party forum about the panchayat polls. He has gone to BJP and is giving lame excuses,” he said.