Alipurduar BJP MLA joins TMC ahead of Rural polls

BJP on Sunday received another jolt as its Alipurduar MLA, Suman Kanjilal joined TMC in presence of MP and the party’s General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata. He is the sixth MLA to switch sides since the 2021 assembly election.

With this the number of BJP MLAs in the legislative assembly fell to 69 from 77, the number of seats won by the saffron party in 2021 general elections.

As per BJP sources, Kanjilal joined the ruling party upon persuasion by another MLA who had left the party to join TMC earlier. Kanjilal, said the source was in Kolkata for the last three days.

Leader of Opposition in Assembly Suvendu Adhikari tweeted, “Are you scared of the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution (anti-defection law)? Not handing over the TMC flag? Because, inside Vidhan Sabha, as in the case of Mukul Roy, TMC Owner labeled him as BJP; Suman Kanjilal would also claim that he belongs to the BJP Legislative Party.” Party spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya too emphasized that a mere change of party by one MLA will not affect the entire party.

TMC Spokesperson Kunal Ghosh hit back at Suvendu. “Before tweeting this to public, please go home first, and tell this theory of anti defection law to your father and brother. Also accept the fact that MLAs of BJP have no trust on BJP and LOP. This is failure of opportunist betrayer Suvendu Adhikari also.” Tweeted the former TMC MP.

Mukul Roy, Biswajit Das, Soumen Roy, Krishna Kalyani, and Tanmoy Ghosh are the other five MLAs who have defected to TMC in the last two years. LoP Suvendu Adhikary appealed to WB Assembly Speaker to disqualify them as MLA. The matter is also pending before Calcutta High Court.