Bharatiya Janata Party leader Rajib Banerjee on Saturday met Kunal Ghosh, his former colleague at Trinamool Congress, fueling speculations of him breaking ranks from the saffron party. Banerjee, however, said that it was a “courtesy meeting” and denied that he would join Trinamool Congress, ANI reported.
“There were no such talks,” Banerjee said, while speaking to reporters after the meeting. “I am still in Bharatiya Janata Party, there is no politics in this.”
An erstwhile minister in the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal Cabinet, Rajib Banerjee was one of the several defectors who quit the party and joined the BJP ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections. He unsuccessfully fought the polls on a BJP ticket from the Domjur constituency.
His meeting with Ghosh assumes greater significance in the backdrop of former BJP national vice president Mukul Roy rejoining the Trinamool Congress, four years after he left the party. Speaking at a press conference after joining Trinamool Congress on Friday, Roy indicated that more leaders from the BJP were expected to follow suit. Mamata Banerjee also gave hinted at the prospect, but none of them divulged any particular names.
Significantly, in a Facebook post on June 8, Rajib Banerjee had said that people of Bengal should “rise above politics” and help those affected by Covid-19 and cyclone Yaas.
“People won’t appreciate if you intimidate a chief minister who has won the elections with a huge majority, with threats about Delhi [Centre] and Article 356 [president’s rule]”.
When asked about the post, Rajib Banerjee on Saturday said that he “believed” in what he has written on Facebook. “I wrote about the things I didn’t like,” he told reporters.
Several former Trinamool Congress MLAs, including Dipendu Biswas and Sonali Guha have written to Mamata Banerjee recently, expressing regret on their decision to join the BJP and seeking to return back to the ruling party, PTI reported.