Big turncoat influx from Trinamool comes with its share of worries for BJP

By Express News Service
KOLKATA: Why is the rank and file of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) making a beeline for BJP, was a question the party’s national president J P Nadda sought answer to when he met the core committee at Burdwan on Saturday.

The question arose in the wake of reports of clashes among the old and new hands, especially the turncoats.

“During the Saturday’s conversation, Naddaji realised that many TMC leaders were joining the BJP with the hopes of getting tickets. Their followers, aspiring for party berths, are following them. The leadership has instructed us to welcome the TMC defectors, and the state unit has no role in the induction process,” said a senior BJP leader in Kolkata.

Sources in the BJP said the exodus from TMC is attributable to BJP’s bright chances of toppling the TMC. 

While Nadda did not pursue the matter, he made it clear that he knew the turncoats were power-hungry and shifting side eyeing berths in the party.

A section of BJP leaders in Bengal has already opposed the decision of welcoming TMC turncoats, claiming it might trigger intra-party feud. 

Several clashes between the old BJP hands and newcomers have already taken place in the recent past.

Two BJP functionaries were issued show-cause notices after they opposed the induction of TMC MLA Jitendra Tiwari.

The exodus from the TMC might strain the saffron camp’s intra-party fabric ahead of the Assembly elections, said another BJP leader. 

“BJP has made inroads, riding on the shift in CPM supporters’ political alignment. The CPM workers had been considering the BJP as a platform to combat TMC.

The migration from the TMC workers to BJP has created bad blood between CPM-turned BJP worker, as they now are finding their rival faces sitting across the same bench,”  the leader said.

The discontent came to a head two days ago in front of BJP’s state president Dilip Ghosh and Bengal observer Kailash Vijayvargiya in a rally in Nandigram. 

The saffron camp announced a mega induction session and when the TMC turncoats arrived, BJP workers attacked them with plastic chairs and bricks.

Ghosh had to stop his speech and ask the workers to stay disciplined.

Former TMC strongman Suvendu Adhikari, who joined the BJP last month, could not address the rally.

The induction session had to be called off after the clash.