Former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, who switched to the Bharatiya Janata Party last month, plans to quit the party for being “regularly humiliated”, his close associate Baishakhi Banerjee claimed on Saturday. Both the leaders were in the Trinamool Congress until August 14.

“Since joining the BJP, we are being regularly humiliated and insulted without any reason,” Banerjee told PTI. “Sovan Chatterjee had taken a sabbatical from active politics. It was I who played a key role in bringing him back and made him join the BJP.”

“If we are being humiliated, then we could have stayed back in TMC only,” she added. “Therefore, we have expressed our desire to leave the party. If needed, we would send our resignation to the BJP leadership.”

Both Chatterjee and Banerjee were reportedly unhappy about Trinamool Congress Raidighi MLA Debashree Roy’s induction into the BJP. Roy had tried to meet state BJP president Dilip Ghosh at his Salt Lake house earlier this week.

Chatterjee was considered to be a close aide of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee before he left the party. He had praised the Narendra Modi government for taking “bold steps” to strengthen the country when he had joined BJP.

He had said he was ready to contest against Banerjee in the 2021 Assembly elections, and that he would be a loyal soldier in BJP. “I will do whatever my party asks me to do,” he had said on August 20. “If they ask me to contest against Mamata Banerjee in next election I will do so.”

In November last year, Chatterjee had resigned as a minister after Banerjee rebuked him for allegedly ignoring official responsibilities to focus on personal matters.

Since the Lok Sabha poll results in May, six Trinamool Congress legislators and one each from the Congress and the Left have joined the BJP in West Bengal. The saffron party has been making inroads into West Bengal in recent months. The Trinamool Congress won just 22 out of the 42 seats in the state during the Lok Sabha elections, while the BJP won 18.

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.