Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress gave the BJP a “factcheck” this morning after a large number of its leaders jumped ships to the BJP on Tuesday. The party also alleged that people were “forced” to join the BJP “at gunpoint”.
The Trinamool said a suspended lawmaker and only six councilors of the party had joined the BJP. The rest, it claimed, were from the Congress and the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
“FactCheck One suspended MLA of Trinamool joined BJP yesterday. The others were from Congress and CPI-M. The number of councillors is 6. That too they were forced at gunpoint to do so,” the Trinamool Congress tweeted.
The exodus comes weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the chief minister that 40 legislators from her party were in contact with the BJP and would soon change camp.
In the tweet, the ruling party in West Bengal pointed out that one of the legislators who joined the BJP was suspended by it. The Trinamool was referring to Subhrangshu Roy, the son of BJP leader Mukul Roy. The party said another legislator who joined the BJP, Tusharkanti Bhattacharya, is from the Congress.
The third legislator to join the BJP was the CPM’s Debendra Nath Roy.
The mega exit was led by the son of Mukul Roy. Mukul Roy is seen to be instrumental in engineering the defection of the Trinamool Congress leaders to the BJP and, political watchers believe, he is one of the key architects of the party’s best ever show in West Bengal, where Ms Banerjee is in power since 2011.
The BJP won18 of Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, up from just two in 2014, and the Trinamool dropped from 34 to 22.