Kolkata: As immediate aftermath of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mega rally at Brigade Ground here, the recurring impact on the health of Trinamool Congress was well reflected a day after when as many as five sitting MLAs, one candidate of Mamata Banerjee and Malda Zilla Parishad defected to the BJP camp.
Among others, 80-year-old Rabindranath Bhattacharya, a prominent face of the Singur movement, joined the saffron party. Mukul Roy, a onetime Mamata lieutenant, welcomed the veteran leader stating Bhattacharya’s move finally makes it clear how the Mamata Banerjee government has failed those who voted overwhelmingly in 2011 and also 2016.
“What can be worse than their (Trinamool) own members and dedicated leaders feeling humiliated and eventually leaving the party? Now Trinamool is getting celebrities to fill in the position,” said BJP state president Dilip Ghosh.
Among those Trinamool Congress lost on Monday include four-time MLAs Sonali Guha and also former football player Dipendu Biswas.
Jatu Lahiri (from Shivpur) and Sital Kumar Sardar and Mamata’s candidate from Habibpur, Sarala Murmu, also joined the Lotus party in the presence of West Bengal state president Dilip Ghosh, Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy.
The Trinamool leadership replaced Murmu with Pradeep Baskey.
The saffron party was delighted as the party took control of the 38-member Malda Zilla Parishad after its 22 members shifted allegiance. Notably, actress Tanusree Chakraborty also joined the BJP.
Continuing to be rattled, Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee made an impatient plea to the voters not to be swayed by defection from her rank and file and said the people should not see the candidates in individual constituencies and assume that she (Mamata herself) is contesting from all the constituencies.
Meanwhile, a television channel-sponsored survey showed that over 33 percent of those surveyed had rejected the idea that Trinamool would be benefited from Mamata’s campaign that she herself is contesting across the state in all 294 assembly segments.