Hours after senior Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari resigned from the West Bengal cabinet, the BJP Friday welcomed the decision as the "beginning of the end of the TMC" and said if the heavyweight leader joins the saffron camp it would be beneficial for both.
BJP national vice-president Mukul Roy hailed Adhikari, his former colleague in the TMC, as a product of mass movements and said it is for him to decide whether he wants to join the saffron party or not.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the party has its doors open for the heavyweight leader and others of TMC, which, he claimed, does not have a place for able leaders.
"As far as I have seen in politics, Suvendu is one of the finest mass leaders of contemporary times. I have known him for a long time. He is a product of mass movement. If he decides to join the BJP, it will be beneficial for both him and the party," Roy told reporters.
Ghosh said Adhikari's resignation heralds the "end of Trinamool Congress" and claimed that the party would "cease to exist".
"The exit of Suvendu Adhikari from TMC is only a matter of time. There are several leaders of the ruling party who are disgruntled with its way of functioning. We have kept our doors open ... All leaders with self respect will leave TMC," Ghosh told reporters here.
Drawing analogy from the game of cricket, he said "A big wicket fell today."
He continued, "Finally no one will be on board the sinking ship of TMC excepting its captain. 2019 (Lok Sabha polls) was the semi final for BJP. We are now fast moving to the main goal in 2021 (assembly polls). Suvendu Adhikari's joining the BJP will give more momentum to that," he said later.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya declined to comment on speculations that Adhikari will join the saffron party.
"The development proves that not just common people, but the party workers and leaders too are unhappy with TMC," he said.
Adhikari, who has been at odds with TMC's top brass, tendered his resignation as minister for transport, irrigation and waterways on Friday. He had resigned as chairman of state-run Hoogly River Bridge Commissioners on Thursday dealing a blow to TMC's backchannel talks to woo him back before the 2021 state polls.
He faxed his resignation letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and forwarded it to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar by e-mail.
He has, however, not resigned as MLA nor from the primary membership of TMC.
Apart from his home district of East Midnapore where his family members hold public offices, Adhikari has influence in at least 35-40 assembly seats in tribal-dominated Jangalmahal region comprising West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram districts and parts of Birbhum.
In another development disgruntled TMC MLA from Coochbehar Mihir Goswami joined BJP in New Delhi on Friday evening. He had expressed his desire to quit the party and left for New Delhi with BJP MP Nisith Pramanik in the morning.
Election to the 294-member West Bengal assembly are likely in April-May next year.