TMC MP joins BJP, slams Mamata

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Jan 2019 09:20:48



TRINAMOOL Congress MP Saumitra Khan on Wednesday joined the BJP, giving a major political boost to the BJP in West Bengal ahead of Lok Sabha polls.
Khan’s induction is being seen as upping of its offensive by the BJP with ex-Trinamool heavyweight Mukul Roy, who had himself joined its fold in 2017 after a bitter fallout with Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee, saying it was just a beginning and many more may follow.
Within hours of Khan, a young turk considered close to Roy, joining the BJP in the national capital, Trinamool announced his expulsion, as also that of another young MP Anupam Hazra.

Khan is a Lok Sabha member from the Bishnupur seat in Bankura, while Hazra represents the Bolpur seat in the Birbhum district. While Hazra has not made public his next political move, Khan joined the BJP after meeting the party chief Amit Shah on Wednesday afternoon in Delhi, ending weeks of speculations that he had fallen out of favour with the Trinamool leadership and had bleak chances of getting a ticket there.

Lately, Khan was openly critical of Trinamool’s leadership, specially Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee. After changing sides, he challenged Banerjee to fight elections against him.
“If Abhishek Banerjee has guts then he should come and fight against me from Bishnupur Lok Sabha seat. I challenge him to fight against me,” he said.
Banerjee, a Trinamool MP from Diamond Harbour seat, dismissed Khan’s comments, saying people of West Bengal will give him a befitting reply in Lok Sabha polls and he will lose his deposits.

Khan is the first bigshot Mukul Roy loyalist to change sides and there are still many more within the party.
“It is just the beginning. There are many others in queue. Just wait and watch,” Roy said. However, Mamata Banerjee’s party sought to downplay the development. “We have decided to expel both Soumitra Khan and Anupam Hazra from the party for being involved in anti-party activities,” TMC Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said.