Longtime Congressman turned Trinamool leader, Sisir Adhikari took another turn in his decades-long political career today to join the BJP. Ending weeks of speculation, Sishir Adhikari shared dais with Union minister Amit Shah today at Egra in Purba Medinipur, the district that has been the home turf of his family.From the stage, he exhorted the people to "Save Bengal from atrocities," ending with the Jai Shri Ram" slogan the Chief Minister is said to abhor.
Mr Adhikari has been expected to change camp after his most promising son, Suvendu Adhikari -- Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's close aide turned bitter enemy -- walked out of the party and joined the BJP.
The Adhikaris wield influence over more than 30 seats Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia, which are expected to go to the BJP.
Mr Adhikari has been with the Trinamool Congress for 23 years and was even a minister in former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government for six years.
The veteran politician who was the chairman of the prestigious Digha-Shankarpur Development Council and president of the Trinamool's district unit, was removed from the post earlier this year.
On March 13, BJP MP from Hooghly and the party's assembly poll candidate from Chunchura Locket Chatterjee had visited the Adhikari residence and had lunch with him. Yesterday, he met BJP leader Mansukh Mandviya, raising the pitch of speculation.
"They (TMC leaders) forced me to join the BJP. Let them (TMC) do what they want, and I will do what I can," Mr Adhikari was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India, before he left for Egra.
After Suvendu Adhikari's switch to the BJP, his brother Soumendu Adhikari too joined the BJP after Trinamool removed him as the administrator of Contai Municipality. There is speculation that Sisir Adhikari's other son Dibyendu Adhikari, a Trinamool MP from Tamluk, may also follow suit.