Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Soumen Roy returned to the Trinamool Congress on Saturday, two years after he quit the party.
He is the third BJP MLA to switch over to West Bengal’s ruling party in less than a week. Biswajit Das had joined the Trinamool Congress on August 31, while Tanmay Ghosh switched sides a day before that.
Another BJP leader, Mukul Roy, had returned to the Trinamool Congress on June 11. In all, four BJP MLAs have defected to the Mamata Banerjee-led party after it won the Assembly elections held in March and April.
Soumen Roy, who had been elected as an MLA from Kaliaganj in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur district, said he did not agree with the BJP’s divisive ideology, The Times of India reported.
Without elaborating, Roy claimed that he had to contest the Assembly elections on a BJP ticket because of “some circumstances”, ANI reported.
“But my soul and heart belong to TMC [Trinamool Congress],” he said. “I joined the party again to support Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s efforts. I am apologetic to the party for the time I was not here.”
BJP leader Basudeb Sarkar described Roy as an opportunist, The Telegraph reported. “He had joined BJP for his own interests,” Sarkar said. “His defection will not affect the party in any manner.”
Roy’s exit has reduced the BJP’s strength in the 294-member West Bengal Assembly to 71, according to PTI.
Faced with a dwindling number of MLAs, the BJP had last week issued legal notices to Ghosh and Das.