Tripura MLA Ashis Das on Tuesday got his head shaved as “penance” for the misrule of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state, reported NDTV. He also announced that he was quitting the saffron party.

“The type of anarchy and misrule Tripura has witnessed under the BJP-led regime has moved me and therefore for the past two years, I have been a critic of all these wrong deeds and I have been working for the people beyond the party and politics,” Das said.

Das said he would keep his head shaved till the BJP is uprooted from the state in the next election in 2023, reported The Indian Express. “Whatever is my next step, it will be announced later,” he said.

Das, an MLA from the Surma Assembly seat, also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Once, Modi’s messages stirred and touched the minds of people from all sections across the country,” he said. “Modi had once said ‘na khaunga, na khane dunga’ [will neither engage in corruption not let anyone do so]. But now, it has become a popular jumla [rhetoric] in the country.”

The MLA said that he thought the Modi government will protect the state from the “misrule” of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) government that lasted for 25 years. “Based on that belief, we unknowingly committed a mistake,” he added.

Das got his head shaved in Kolkata’s Kalighat temple a day after he praised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and said many people want to see her as the next prime minister.

The MLA had visited the Trinamool Congress office in Kolkata on October 2, giving rise to speculation that he will be joining the Banerjee-led party, reported The Hindu. However, Das had said that he was there to meet a friend.

A Trinamool Congress leader told The Indian Express that Das will join the party on Wednesday.

In recent months, many political leaders have joined the Trinamool Congress. This includes Congress leader Luizinho Faleiro and Sushmita Dev.

Several BJP leaders – many who were earlier with the Trinamool Congress – have also joined Banerjee’s party. These include Babul Supriyo, Mukul Roy, Tanmoy Ghosh, Biswajit Das and Soumen Roy.

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