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Soumen Roy becomes fourth BJP MLA to join TMC

Source: PTI
September 04, 2021 20:52 IST
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BJP MLA from Kaliagnaj Soumen Roy Saturday joined the ruling TMC, becoming the fourth saffron party legislator to do so since the West Bengal assembly poll results were declared in May.

IMAGE: BJP MLA from Kaliaganj, Soumen Roy joins TMC in presence of state minister and party leader Partha Chatterjee in Kolkata.Photograph: ANI/Twitter

Roy is the third BJP legislator to join the ruling party within a week. Earlier this week, BJP MLAs from Bagda and Bishnupur, Biswajit Das and Tanmoy Ghosh had joined Mamata Banerjee's party earlier this week.

Soumen Roy, who had quit TMC to join BJP two years ago, said he was sorry about joining the saffron party.

Roy, who was elected from Kaliaganj in Uttar Dinajpur district on a BJP ticket in the April-May assembly poll, joined TMC in the presence of its secretary general Partha Chatterjee.

The MLA said he had left TMC due to a misunderstanding but he was not comfortable in the saffron camp and wanted to take part in the development initiatives by chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

"Though I had quit TMC, my mind and soul had remained with it. I do not subscribe to the ideology of BJP and don't agree with its divisive politics. They (BJP) want to divide our state on the lines of religion, language, caste and creed and I will oppose it," he said.

"There was some misunderstanding with the party (TMC) then. It would have been better had I not left the party. But now it is like homecoming for me," he said.

Welcoming Ghosh to the party fold, Chatterjee said BJP has been trying to take "post-poll revenge" against TMC as it failed miserably in the assembly polls.

"We will fight BJP politically. It is trying to belittle the people of West Bengal. The people of the state will not tolerate this," he said.

Roy was absent from a meeting of BJP MLAs of north Bengal earlier this week.

Ghosh and Das, who had switched over to TMC earlier this week, too had quit the party a few years back to join the saffron party.

In June BJP MLA and party's national vice-president Mukul Roy rejoined TMC four years after he left the Mamata Banerjee-led party to join the saffron camp.

BJP had won 77 of the 292 seats of the West Bengal assembly for which polling was held. Its tally dropped to 75 in May after two of its MLAs Nitish Pramanik and Jagganath Sarkar resigned to retain their Lok Sabha seats.

After the four turncoats of the saffron party its numbers have unofficially dropped to 71. The four are yet to officially resign and continue to be BJP MLAs.

The TMC had won 213 seats, while ISF and GJM bagged one seat each.

Bypolls are currently due in five seats and fresh polls will be held in two seats, where the elections were countermanded due to the death of the candidates.

According to TMC sources, several saffron camp leaders are in touch with the party and want to switch to it.

Reacting to Roy's joining the TMC, state Leader of Opposition and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari told reporters, "Whoever leaves the party, it is his decision. But the party (BJP) will seek their disqualification after asking them to explain their stand."

Reacting to the switchover of the three MLAs within a week, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said those who have changed sides could never embrace the saffron party's ideology and principles.

"We welcomed everyone willing to fight TMC. As we did not come to power, maybe they felt they should return to TMC. It is up to them to decide which party they want to be a part of, but after changing sides they should resign as BJP MLAs," he added.

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