BJP targets Trinamool for fielding 3 ‘turncoat’ candidates who remain BJP legislators on paper

Kolkata: As the campaign for the Lok Sabha polls picks up pace in West Bengal, the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to target the ruling Trinamool Congress for fielding at least three ‘turncoat’ candidates who continue to be BJP legislators on paper.

As per the official records of the state Assembly, the three Trinamool nominees from Raiganj in North Dinajpur district, Bangaon in North 24 Paraganas district, and Ranaghat in Nadia district are all BJP legislators who joined the ruling party after the 2021 Assembly elections.

In Raiganj, the Trinamool has given the ticket to Krishna Kalyani, the sitting BJP MLA from the Raiganj Assembly constituency. Similarly, the party has fielded Biswajit Das from Bangaon, who is the sitting BJP legislator from the Bagda Assembly seat. In Ranaghat, the ruling party candidate is Mukut Manu Adhikari, the BJP legislator from the Ranaghat Dakshin Assembly constituency.

All three Trinamool nominees joined the ruling party after securing victory in the 2021 Assembly elections on BJP tickets. As per Assembly records, they continue to be BJP legislators despite their shift in loyalty.

The BJP is now raising the ‘turncoat’ issue in almost all its election rallies in West Bengal, questioning the rationale behind these three leaders contesting the Lok Sabha polls while keeping intact their membership as BJP legislators.

The BJP leaders are also citing the example of its party candidate from the Kolkata Uttar Lok Sabha constituency, Tapas Roy. A six-time MLA, Roy resigned as a Trinamool legislator and also quit his party membership before officially joining the BJP recently.

Now the BJP is asking why can’t the Trinamool candidates from Raiganj, Bangaon, and Ranaghat show similar ‘political honesty’ like Roy and contest the Lok Sabha polls only after resigning as opposition MLAs.

According to the leader of opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, one shouldn’t expect political morality from the Trinamool.

“Those discarded by the BJP are now assets for the Trinamool, which lost all three seats in question in 2019. And fielding our discards as Trinamool nominees will not help them this time as well,” Adhikari said.

The CPI-M leadership, meanwhile, claimed that shifting political camps between the Trinamool and BJP is so frequent that it will soon become difficult to say which leader belongs to which party.

On their part, the three ‘turncoat’ candidates share a common logic to back their political switch, saying their decision was prompted by the fulfillment of promises made by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee before the 2021 Assembly elections, as they wanted to be a part of the development process.

Das went one step ahead to claim that although he got elected on a BJP ticket, his emotional bonding was always with Chief Minister Banerjee.


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