On Sunday, he had appealed to the jute farmers and workers in West Bengal to take to the streets, protesting against the ‘plight’ of the lot due to ‘wrong’ policies of the Narendra Modi government. Today, Arjun Singh has given a clearer indication he is returning to the Trinamool Congress. The BJP MP from Barrackpore has targeted his own organisation’s leadership without naming the party.
Singh said he would also attend the Trinamool Congress meeting if convened by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Meanwhile, BJP workers on social media have taken him for a lost cause. Early today, they had begun posting on Twitter and Facebook that Arjun Singh was going back to the party he had come from.
New speculations surrounding the BJP MP from Barrackpore are rife in Bengal politics. If the union government’s decision to fix an upper cap on raw jute price is not changed, Arjun Singh says he will revolt. Yesterday, the BJP MP had warned Union Minister of Textiles Piyush Goyal of his impending move, Bengal BJP sources told Sirf News. The rebellious leader had told Goyal, sources said, that it was a fight between people on their ivory towers and the hard-working people of humble means. “If you do not accept the demand, I will join the movement. People have made me the MP of this place,” Arjun Singh had reportedly told the union minister.
The Union Ministry of Textiles, in consultation with the Jute Corporation, fixed the maximum price of jute, resulting allegedly in huge losses for the farmers of West Bengal, globally the competitor of Bangladesh in jute exports, Arjun Singh says.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress camp is beaming with anticipation of a possible return of their enfant terrible, who has been too strong an individual leader in Barrackpore to mess with even for the most dreaded of henchmen of the party ruling West Bengal. Trinamool Congress’s tenor of speech directed at the Barrackpore stalwart has softened overnight.
Arjun Singh had but been steadfast in his loyalty to the BJP until the beginning of this year. He had made light of reverse defections by Mukul Roy and Babul Supriyo following the assembly election of 2021, massacre and humiliation of BJP’s local leaders post-election and a wave of exodus of Hindus to the neighbouring states of Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand, chased by Muslim hoodlums affiliated with the ruling party.
In February, however, the BJP suffered a blow when, with several other candidates, three close relatives of Arjun Singh withdrew their candidature for the polls at 108 civic bodies.
Arjun Singh’s brother-in-law Sunil Singh, a former legislator of the Trinamool Congress, returned to his old party along with his son Aditya. The MP’s nephew, Saurav Singh, the former chairman of Bhatpara municipality in North 24 Parganas, returned to Mamata Banerjee’s party as well. All three had joined the BJP when Arjun Singh left the ruling party before the 2019 Lok Sabha election and defeated Dinesh Trivedi, the then sitting MP of the Trinamool Congress from Barrackpore.
“The BJP will be ousted from Bengal very soon. It is riddled with infighting. I had betrayed the Trinamool Congress by joining the BJP. This haunted me for two years,” Sunil Singh had said in the presence of state minister Jyotipriya Mallick, the heavyweight Trinamool leader from the district.