In the face of the much-anticipated electoral battle of this year, the political scene in Bengal is tense. Within hours of yesteryears’ actress-turned-MP Satabdi Roy’s U-turn back to the TMC, BJP MP Soumitra Khan made an explosive claim today, “I can say for sure, seven or eight TMC MPs are ready to join the BJP. More than 40 leaders will join the BJP.”
With the vote now in the foreseeable future, the claim of the Bengal BJP MP has caused a stir in the state politics. Khan further said, “Rajib Banerjee is at number 1, Satabdi Roy is at number 2 and Aparupa Poddar is at number 3 in the list of those who are coming to the BJP.”
“She was ready to come,” said Soumitra. He claimed the TMC blocked Satabdi Roy’s passage to the BJP with the excuse that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not doing well and was terribly disturbed by the desertions from her party and that it would be unfair at this juncture to ditch the party that made the Bengali actress an MP on three occasions. “All these excuses made her awkward and she postponed her move to our party. You will see what happens after a few days,” Khan said.
Last Thursday, a Facebook post on the fan page of Satabdi Roy had claimed she was “dissatisfied” with the TMC. Speculations about her turning the coat were rife following the post—more so after some people claimed the MP from Birbhum had herself drafted the post. She said she had not been invited to any party event since the Lok Sabha election of 2019.
Satabdi also cancelled her Delhi visit that was scheduled for yesterday. Then she told a news website she would leave for Delhi in the morning of Saturday. She even mentioned the possibility of meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
A panic-stricken Abhishek Banerjee, the chief minister’s nephew and TMC’s heir apparent, deputed party spokesperson Kunal Ghosh for a meeting at the sulking MP’s house to make her desist.
Satabdi Roy then sat in a meeting with Abhishek Banerjee last evening. The outcome was believed to be a thaw. Satabdi emerged from the meeting to inform the media that she was staying with the TMC and was not going to Delhi.
Satabdi Roy then posted a message on her Facebook wall today, saying she was a devoted soldier of the TMC. The MP also lauded Abhishek Banerjee. Sirf News spoke to several local journalists who could not be sure what to make of Khan’s assertion.
Meanwhile, for the past few days, West Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee has been sounding discordant notes in the ruling TMC, apparently peeved by the party leadership. The minister and MLA from Domjur expressed his frustration against a section of the TMC leadership on Facebook Live on Saturday. Khan’s statement about Rajib Banerjee, therefore, sounds more plausible.