- A large number of Trinamool leaders jumped ships to the BJP
- TMC alleged that people were "forced" to join the BJP "at gunpoint"
- BJP won 18 of Bengal's 42 Lok Sabha seats, TMC won 22
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 councillors of the party had joined the BJP. The rest, it said, were from the Congress and the CPM.
"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.
#FactCheck— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) May 29, 2019
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 exodus comes weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told 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; it was referring to Subhrangshu Roy, the son of BJP leader Mukul Roy.
The party said another legislator who joined the BJP is from the Congress. The BJP, at a press conference yesterday, had welcomed Tusharkanti Bhattacharya "from the Trinamool Congress" into the party.
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 won 18 of Bengal's 42 Lok Sabha seats, up from just two in 2014, and the Trinamool dropped from 34 to 22.
While the Trinamool claimed that only six of its councilors (elected representatives of municipal corporation) switched to the BJP, nearly 60 TMC corporators, who are elected members of a municipality, joined the BJP on Tuesday.
The Trinamool Congress liked those joined the BJP on Tuesday to "rats abandoning a ship sensing danger" and said people will give them a befitting reply.
"If some of the leaders join the BJP just because it has won a few seats, they are nothing, but rats who abandon a ship sensing danger. It is good that they have left our party," senior TMC leader and minister Firhad Hakim said.
Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is in charge of Bengal during the election said while welcoming the new BJP members: "Like the elections were held in seven phases in West Bengal, joining the BJP would also happen in seven phases. Today was just the first phase."
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