TMC in a fix as party cadres oppose return of turncoats

Criticising Adhikari, the Leader of the Opposition, Mondol said, “Suvendu came to my home and requested me to join the BJP. He then promised many things on that day but he did not keep any promise.”

As the list of repentant TMC deserters increases, a section of Trinamool Congress (TMC) has expressed its opposition to the party taking back the leaders who had left it to join the BJP in the run-up to the Assembly elections. A senior TMC leader, however, claimed on Tuesday that this resistance to bringing back the turncoats was not a “universal phenomenon”.

Following the return of Mukul Roy and his son last Friday, his close aide and North 24 Parganas Zilla Parishad member Ratan Ghosh quit the party on Sunday and appealed to the TMC to take him back. The same day, BJP state Scheduled Caste (SC) Morcha president Dulal Bar, a former TMC MLA and another Mukul associate, also expressed unhappiness with the saffron camp. Former minister and BJP leader Rajib Banerjee’s meeting with TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh triggered speculation about his return to the ruling party fold a few days ago. BJP leaders Sunil Singh, Biswajit Kundu, Sonali Guha, Prabir Ghoshal, Sabyasachi Dutta, and Dipendu Biswas — all former TMC MLAs — have also expressed their desire to rejoin the TMC.

On Tuesday, Bardhaman Purba MP Sunil Mondol, who had joined the BJP along with Suvendu Adhikari a few months ago in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, became the latest Opposition leader to express regret.

Hitting out at his party, the MP said, “All India leaders of the BJP were not accepted in Bengal. We understood that but we were not in a position to say all these things. Recently, what Tathagata Roy and Dilip Ghosh said about the leaders who came from the TMC is also not acceptable.”

Criticising Adhikari, the Leader of the Opposition, Mondol said, “Suvendu came to my home and requested me to join the BJP. He then promised many things on that day but he did not keep any promise.”

However, a section of TMC leaders and workers do not want to see a lot of these leaders back in the party. In Howrah district, supporters of state minister Arup Roy have put up posters at various places expressing their opposition to the inclusion of Rajib Banerjee. They recently also a rally against the BJP leader.

In Hooghly district, TMC workers are campaigning to stop the re-entry of former Uttarpara MLA Prabir Ghoshal who lost the election on a BJP ticket. Many anti-Ghoshal posters have come up in recent days in Hooghly’s Konnagar area. Similar posters against the return of Sunil Singh, the brother-in-law of BJP MP Arjun Singh, have appeared in Noapara and Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district.

State fire minister Sujit Basu has also expressed opposition to any possibility of taking back former Bidhannagar mayor Sabyasachi Dutta, who lost to him in the Assembly polls.

After seeing the widespread grassroots resistance to the reinduction of the turncoats, the TMC leadership is said to be in a dilemma. However, many leaders believe that though this may delay the return of a number of these leaders, it will eventually happen. Party chairperson and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already announced that a committee will be formed to decide on taking back the former leaders on a case-to-case basis.

“The opposition against turncoats is not a universal phenomenon. We have received news of resistance in some places. However, Mukul Roy’s case was different. Mamata Banerjee personally decided to take back Mukul. We did not adopt any general policy for these leaders…,” said TMC MP Saugata Roy.

Another senior leader of the party said many workers were opposed to the return of the turncoats as these leaders had left the party in its difficult days and were now seeking to come back.


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