Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee on Thursday claimed that Bharatiya Janata Party leaders were “queuing up” to join the Trinamool Congress, PTI reported.

“We have kept the doors closed,” he said while addressing a poll rally in Murshidabad district’s Samserganj. “If the doors are opened, the BJP will surely collapse.”

Bye-elections for two Assembly seats in Murshidabad Samserganj and Jangipur will be held on September 30.

Banerjee’s comment came days after former Union minister Babul Supriyo joined the Trinamool Congress, less than two months after quitting the BJP. Four other top leaders – Mukul Roy, Tanmoy Ghosh, Biswajit Das and Soumen Roy – have quit the saffron party to join Trinamool in the last few months.

On Thursday, Banerjee also said his goal was to “throw” the BJP out of India in the next three years, India Today reported.

“These outsiders need to be taught a lesson again,” he said, according to PTI. “The saffron party will be defeated in the upcoming elections...What will their ED [Enforcement Directorate], CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] do? Nothing.”

Banerjee alleged that the BJP government in Tripura has imposed curbs under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to prevent him from addressing rallies there.

“How long will the order be in force in Tripura?” PTI quoted him as saying. “The TMC will register victory in Tripura for sure.”

The Tripura Assembly elections are expected to be held in early 2023.

On Tuesday, the Tripura High Court refused to interfere with the state government’s decision to put in place prohibitory orders in West Tripura district till November 4, The Telegraph reported.

West Bengal bye-elections

Bye-elections to the West Bengal Assembly seats of Bhabanipur, Samserganj and Jangipur will be held on September 30.

While the election in Jangipur was deferred due to the death of United Front candidate Pradip Nandi, the elections in Samserganj was postponed after Congress candidate Rezaul Haque died. Both of them had died due to Covid-19.

The TMC has fielded Amirul Islam as its candidate from the Samserganj constituency, where Banerjee addressed the rally on Thursday.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will contest the election from Bhabanipur. She needs to get elected as an MLA in order to continue as chief minister.