Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Saumitra Khan on Wednesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi. His departure from the ruling party in West Bengal came more than a year after former Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy’s induction into the saffron party. Roy had been suspended by the Trinamool Congress before he quit.
Khan is the first Trinamool Congress parliamentarian to join the BJP, The Indian Express reported. His move comes a day after violence was reported from several parts of the state during a nationwide strike called by trade unions in protest against the policies of the Narendra Modi government.
Khan said he wants to follow Modi’s principle of inclusive development. “There is a syndicate raj [rule] and police raj going on in Bengal and especially Bankura district under which my constituency falls,” the MP added. “The law and order situation of Bengal is deteriorating day-by-day and Trinamool Congress is supporting goondas. Everyday we get reports of murders and bombings from across the state. Polls in the rest of the country are held peacefully without a single incident of killing. But in Bengal even during the panchayat polls, dozens of people are killed.”
The lawmaker, who represents Bishnupur in the legislature, alleged his life has been in threat since he took a stance against the chief minister’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, News18 reported. “It [TMC] is now run by Mamata di’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee,” Khan claimed. “He is after me because I raise my voice against the ‘syndicate’ in Bengal.”
Mukul Roy said Khan’s resignation from the party was indicative of the Trinamool Congress’ imminent decline. “The countdown has started for Mamata devi, your MPs and MLAs will leave you one after another and the 2019 Loksabha [polls] will bring an end to your misrule,” Roy tweeted.
The BJP leader told News 18 that the Trinamool Congress was no longer a political party. “It is now a private company run by ‘Pishi’ [a reference to Mamata Banerjee] and ‘Bhaipo’ [her nephew].”
Meanwhile, Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy told The Indian Express that his party would issue a statement on the development in “due time”.