As the Trinamool Congress suffered another setback in West Bengal after another leader Soumendu Adhikari switched over to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), TMC’s Madan Mitra said anybody is welcome to leave. Mitra also said that TMC workers were becoming more and more devoted towards the party, which has been facing defections ahead of the assembly elections scheduled to be held in the state in April and May this year.

“Anybody is welcome to leave. I don’t think there’ll be any reflection in our party for the defection of Soumendu. Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers are becoming more and more devoted to the party,” Mitra was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. 

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Soumendu Adhikari left the TMC on Friday along with 14 other councillors and was inducted into the BJP in presence of his elder brother Suvendu Adhikari – another TMC defector, at the ‘BJP Yogdaan Mela’ in East Midnapore. Addressing the gathering, Suvendu said, “We will win this battle and form the next government in Bengal. We will move forward with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ideals and accomplish people’s dream of the ‘Sonar Bangla’.”

Prior to joining the BJP, Soumendu was removed as the administrator of the Contai municipality by the TMC with Suvendu terming the removal a “vindictive move” on the part of the state government.

Suvendu also hit out at the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC by saying that the Adhikari family was not with the party of ‘pishi and bhaipo’ – pointing to TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhisek Banerjee – any more and accused it of delaying the municipal polls in the state. “Soumendu has a long political career ahead of him. He has worked hard all these years… And the same goes for the other councillors. The Adhikari family is no longer with the party of pishi-bhaipo,” Suvendu said.

A former minister in Banerjee’s cabinet, Suvendu Adhikari had joined the BJP in the presence of Union home minister Amit Shah on December 19.

(With agency inputs)

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