In yet another jolt to the BJP in Bengal, TMC turncoat Rajib Banerjee — who ruffled feathers with his praise for Mamata Banerjee and has been making efforts to return to the party fold — is set for ‘Ghar Wapsi’ on Sunday.
Sources told News18 that Banerjee is likely to join the Mamata Banerjee-led party at Abhishek Banerjee’s rally in Tripura at around 2pm.
Rajib Banerjee being named as “special invitee” to the BJP National Executive had triggered resentment in the party’s Bengal unit. Several state office-bearers had said they were “shocked” and “surprised” by the national leadership’s decision because Banerjee not only criticised the BJP’s opposition to Mamata Banerjee but distanced himself from the party after his defeat at the Domjur assembly seat in Howrah in the March-April polls. Banerjee had won the seat twice since 2011 when the TMC came to power for the first time.
A BJP member of Parliament from Bengal who did not wish to be named told CNN-News18: “Some of our leaders in Delhi think that Rajib is a big deal but they fail to understand that he will not stick around with the BJP for long and it’s just a matter of time before he goes back to the TMC,”.
Writing a Twitter post titled ‘There has been enough criticism’ after the election, he said, “People will not take kindly to it if, for the sake opposing a government elected with huge popular support, threats of Delhi and Article 356 (President’s rule) are used at the drop of a hat”.
This was seen as a reference to BJP’s demand for the imposition of President’s Rule in the state over the post-poll violence in the state. Rajib Banerjee was also reportedly upset with BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari.
Since the TMC’s win in the polls, a string of deserters have made a beeline for the party. The process started with Mukul Roy and his son and was followed by Tanmoy Ghosh, Biswajit Das and Soumen Roy.