Another Jolt to Mamata as Suvendu Adhikari's Brother Soumendu Joins BJP with 14 TMC Councillors
File photo of TMC leader Suvendu Adhikary.
The ruling Trinamool Congress recievd another jolt on the first day of the year as 15 TMC councillors in the 20-member Contai Municipality, including its former administrator Soumendu Adhikari, quit the state's ruling party and joined the BJP.
Suvendu Adhikari, a Trinamool minister-turned BJP leader and Soumendu's brother, handed over party flags to the councillors at a programme here.
Soumendu was recently removed from the administrator's post at the civic body by the Mamata Banerjee government. Adhikari, who had quit the TMC and joined the BJP last month, said Soumendu's removal was a "vindictive move" on the part of the state government.
"Soumendu has a long political career ahead of him. He has worked hard all these years... and the same goes for the other councillors. The Adhikari family is no longer with the party of Pishi-Bhaipo (TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and nephew Abhisek Banerjee)," he said.
The former minister also said that Banerjee's government had been delaying municipal polls, as it was scared of its "imminent defeat".
"People will vote in favour of the BJP, be it the civic polls or the assembly elections. The BJP will be the frontrunner in Contai South and other places where it had been trailing in the last Lok Sabha polls," he asserted. Earlier in the day, Soumendu had told reporters that "his family had been enduring many unsavoury attacks. But we believe in giving a befitting reply on the battlefield".
Asserting that the TMC, of which he was a part till about a month ago, will disintegrate soon, Adhikari, during a meeting earlier in the day in Purba Medinipur, claimed that Soumendu, together with a few councillors and 5,000 TMC workers, will switch over to the saffron party.
Soumendu had on Thursday said lotus will bloom in every home, hinting that he would join the saffron party, following in his brother's footsteps. The Adhikari household has two other members in the TMC camp -- MPs Dibyendu and Sisir.
(With PTI inputs)