WB: TMC's Suvendu Adhikari joins BJP at Shah's mega rally
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday welcomed former Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader, Suvendu Adhikari, to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at a mega rally in West Bengal's Midnapore. Along with Adhikari - who had resigned from the CM Mamata Banerjee-led party on December 16 - rebel TMC leaders like Sunil Mondal and Silbhadra Dutta will also reportedly join the BJP. Here's more.
This is just the beginning: Shah to CM Banerjee
Shah, who earlier reached Midnapore for the mega rally, was welcomed by Midnapore MP and state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh. Launching an attack on CM Banerjee, Shah said, "Why are so many people leaving Trinamool Congress? Because of the misrule, corruption, and nepotism of Mamata Banerjee. Didi, this is just the beginning. By the time elections come, you will be left all alone."
Several leaders of ruling TMC quit ahead of Shah's visit
Ahead of Shah's two-day visit to West Bengal, a number of leaders quit the state's ruling Trinamool Congress this week. TMC MP Sunil Mondal along with nine sitting MLAs joined the BJP today in Shah's presence, reported PTI.
BJP will form government with more than 200 seats: Shah
Addressing the rally, Shah expressed confidence that the BJP will form the government with over 200 seats in West Bengal. "Senior party members are leaving TMC. Didi accuses BJP of inducing party members to defect. But I want to ask her when she quit Congress to form TMC, was it not defection? This is just the start," he said, targeting Banerjee.
Indulging in regionalism is shallow politics, says Shah
Citing examples of freedom fighters such as Khudiram Bose, Shah told rival parties that indulging in regionalism was "shallow politics." "Those who do ochi rajneeti (shallow politics), I remind them that Khudiram Bose was as much Bengal's as he was the rest of nation's...The freedom fighters would not have imagined such ochi rajneeti," added the Union Home Minister.
Adhikari addresses rally after joining the saffron party
"I salute and pay tribute to the soil of undivided Midnapore and its legacy. It is the revered land of Khudiram Bose and Matongini Hazra," said Adhikari after joining BJP. Calling Shah his elder brother, he said he's the country's "aan baan shaan (prestige)." "If the state has to be salvaged, its reins need to be handed over to PM Narendra Modi," he added.
Adhikari credited with strengthening TMC in rural West Bengal
To recall, Adhikari had resigned from Banerjee's cabinet as the Transport Minister on November 27 and then as an MLA and from the TMC on December 16. Notably, Adhikari is credited with strengthening the TMC in rural West Bengal. Ahead of quitting the TMC, he wrote an open letter addressing party workers saying a "deep rot" has set in the TMC.