Former Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday, weeks after he announced quitting his Rajya Sabha membership on the floor of the House deploring 'violence' in poll-bound West Bengal.
He joined the BJP in the presence of its president J P Nadda, and Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan besides other leaders.
Lauding Trivedi as a principled politician, Nadda said he was earlier a right person in the wrong party and was now in the right party.
Trivedi said he had been waiting for this 'golden moment' and added that family is supreme in some parties but it is people who are supreme in the BJP.
He also praised the Modi government for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the issues involving neighbouring countries.
A number of TMC leaders have quit the party in recent months to join the BJP as the saffron party mounts an aggressive all-out campaign to end Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's 10-year-old reign in the state.
Trivedi, 70, was once a close confidant of TMC president Banerjee and was her choice for holding the important railway ministry portfolio in the Union Cabinet during the United Progressive Alliance government.
Though his ties with her strained resulting in him being removed from the cabinet, they later patched up.
After losing the Lok Sabha election in 2019, he was sent to the Rajya Sabha by the party.
With the BJP being successful in wooing over a number of TMC leaders to its fold, the saffron party has said that this underscores an increasing unease in its rival camp and is a pointer to its 'decisive' victory in the assembly polls to be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29.
Right man now in right party: Nadda
After Trivedi joined his party, Nadda said now the 'right man is in the right party' and added that he will actively participate in West Bengal assembly elections.
While welcoming Trivedi, Nadda said Trivedi met him two months ago and expressed his desire to serve the nation.
"I am happy to welcome Trivedi to the party. He expressed his desire to work for the country under the leadership of PM Modi.
"Trivedi has long experience in politics. He has undertaken an ideological journey and fought for ideologies keeping power apart.
"He is like flowing water and it is only BJP that can amalgamate people of different ideologies," he added.
The BJP chief said the former TMC MP has always paid the price for principles.
"When I talk about Dinesh Trivedi, I always used to say that he is the right person in the wrong party. Now when we are welcoming him, I am happy to say that now the right person is in the right party.
"We will be able to use him to serve the country under the leadership of PM Modi. He has always paid the price principles," he said.
Nadda also announced that Trivedi will serve West Bengal and will actively participate in state assembly elections.
"He (Dinesh Trivedi) will serve West Bengal. He will also actively participate in West Bengal Assembly polls," he said.
"Be it as rail minister or member of Trinamool Congress. If we see now, for principles, he left the seat of Rajya Sabha. This is a perfect example of idealism versus opportunism.
"This also speaks about BJP that gives a forum to nationalist persons," he said.
"TMC is the epitome of corruption, the murderer of institutions and democracy and this all signifies TMC in Bengal," the BJP chief added.
After joining the BJP, Trivedi said only thanking Nadda would not suffice his feelings.
"It is a golden moment for me and I was waiting for this moment," he said.
Calling BJP a party where people are family, Trivedi without naming the party took a potshot at the TMC saying that there is a party that serves a family and not people.
He praised the prime minister and reposed faith in him for keeping the country safe.
Trivedi also cited examples from his friends who are pilots who told him that foreign nations are taking Indians seriously.
He said Bengal is capable and people used to ask him what is he doing in the TMC.
"There is violence, corruption and terror in Bengal. Bengal is a land of culture. Bengal is a pride of us and we imagine Sonar Bangla. Today people of Bengal are happy for a real transformation," said Trivedi.