More than 100 legislators of Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress are in touch with the BJP, party leader Mukul Roy claimed today as three more lawmakers joined the BJP on the second consecutive day. The BJP has promised a seven-round exodus of lawmakers from Ms Banerjee's party to match with the seven-phase election. The exodus comes weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Bengal Chief Minister that 40 legislators from her party were in contact with the BJP and would change camp after the national elections.
Tuesday's list had only three legislators -- Trinamool's Subhrangshu Roy, the son of Mukul Roy, Tusharkanti Bhattacharya and CPM's Debendra Nath Roy. The rest were 16 municipal councillors from the Trinamool Congress, the BJP said.
The lawmakers who jumped ship today were Manirul Islam, Gadadhar Hazra and Mohd Asif Iqbal.
Yesterday, after the BJP claimed a large number of Trinamool leaders have crossed over, Ms Banerjee's party, in a "fact-check" tweet, disputed the figures, saying only a suspended lawmaker and only six councillors of the party had joined the BJP. The rest, it said, were from the Congress and the CPM and claimed its leaders were "forced to join (the BJP) at gunpoint".
But nearly 60 TMC corporators, who are elected members of a municipality, had also joined the BJP on Tuesday. The Trinamool compared the situation to "rats abandoning a ship sensing danger" and said the people will give them the reply they deserve.
The BJP's Kailash Vijaybhargiya, who was in charge of Bengal during the Lok Sabha elections, promised more defections in the coming days and sent his "best wishes" to Mamata Banerjee.
The BJP has showed spectacular results in the Lok Sabha elections, winning 18 of the state's 42 seats - up from just two seats in 2014.
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