Trinamool Congress MLA and former Bidhannagar Mayor Sabyasachi Dutta joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday in the presence of party President Amit Shah, PTI reported. Dutta is the eighth legislator of the ruling party to switch sides since the Lok Sabha elections.

Shah hugged and welcomed him to the party at an event called NRC-Jagran Abhiyan in Kolkata.

Dutta urged the Union home minister to solve the state’s problems the way Kashmir’s problems were dealt with by the government. “I would urge Amit Shah ji that the way he ensured Kashmir cools down, he should also take steps to cool down Bengal,” he said. “The people of Bengal are yearning for a change and it will happen very soon.”

The MLA said the nation and its interests were much bigger than personal or party interests. “India has achieved new heights under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he added.

The Trinamool Congress claimed Dutta’s move to the BJP would not affect it. “We have no relation with Dutta for the last several months,” said party Secretary-General Partha Chatterjee. “Let him go and check which is more powerful, the twin flowers [of Trinamool] or the single lotus.”

Dutta was at odds with the Trinamool leadership, and resigned from his post as Bidhannagar’s mayor in July.

The BJP made significant inroads in West Bengal in the Lok Sabha polls. It won 18 out of a total 42 seats, only four less than the Trinamool Congress.

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