Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool head Mamata Banerjee had received a rude jolt on Tuesday when two party MLAs and 50 councillors went to Delhi and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). On Wednesday, she reshuffled her Cabinet, which is being viewed as a reaction to the ground the party ruling in Bengal lost in the Lok Sabha election and yesterday’s development. However, Banerjee has termed this change in the Cabinet as a routine affair.
In the Lok Sabha election, the Trinamool suffered the maximum loss in northern Bengal and Jangalmahal areas. Two ministers from the region Binoy Krishna Barman and Shantiram Mahato have been removed. Senior leaders like Subrata Mukherjee, Shubhendra Singh, Rajiv Banerjee and Bratya Basu are the replacements in the Cabinet. This move, however, may boomerang, beginning another round of rebellion and desertions in the Trinamool.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said at a rally in West Bengal during the campaigning for the Lok Sabha election that 40 MLAs of the Trinamool were in touch with him and that “Mamata Didi’s game is over”. After the success of the BJP in West Bengal in the Lok Sabha election, the BJP headquarters in Delhi caught a glimpse of that on Tuesday.
The BJP claims that some more MLAs are now preparing to leave the Trinamool and join the BJP. In such a scenario, saving Bengal’s fort can prove a major challenge for Mamata Banerjee in the upcoming Assembly election of 2021.
On Tuesday, 50 councillors, including two Trinamool MLAs came to the capital and formally joined the BJP. Also, an MLA from the CPI (M) joined the BJP. MLA and Mukul Roy’s son Subhranshu Roy was part of the list.
Trinamool legislator Tusharkanta Bhattacharya and CPI(M) legislator Debendra Roy joining the BJP mean a big setback for Mamata Banerjee.
BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya administered the party’s membership to the three MLAs at the party headquarters. He said many other Trinamool councillors were going to join the BJP.
Of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, BJP has won 18 while TMC has 22 and Congress two seats. This is the first time that the BJP has won so many seats in West Bengal. The BJP in the State now largely comprises weathercocks from Trinamool and CPI(M) whereas its original leaders in the State are not being credited for the spectacular show of the party in the Lok Sabha election.