Former TMC minister Sovan Chatterjee joins BJP

Former TMC minister Sovan Chatterjee joins BJP

Former Kolkata Municipal Corporation mayor Sovan Chatterjee and his Professor Baisakhi Banerjee join Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of party's working president J P Nadda, at the BJP HQ in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

In a major jolt to the Trinamool Congress (TMC), one of its senior-most leaders and former minister Sovan Chatterjee joined the BJP on Wednesday.

Chatterjee, a sitting TMC MLA from the Behala Purba (East) Assembly constituency, is also a former mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). He joined the BJP in New Delhi.

Chatterjee, once a close aid of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, raised questions regarding Opposition parties being unable to file nominations in 34% of the gram panchayat seats in the last rural bodies elections in Bengal.

“When I was in TMC, I was in charge of several party posts. At that time, I had raised the question in the party why Opposition parties were not allowed to file nominations for the Panchayat elections. I had raised the issue at an appropriate place at an appropriate time,” said Chatterjee.

However, Chatterjee did not directly criticise the chief minister with whom he used to share a very cordial relationship. His fall out with the TMC supremo started last year and reached a peak with the CM asking him to step down both as mayor and minister in November. Since then he had distanced himself from the TMC and from the state government activities.

Former general secretary of TMC and BJP leader Mukul Roy said Chatterjee had a key role to play in Mamata becoming the chief minister.

He also said now the TMC supremo was denying Chatterjee’s contribution to her political success.

“With Sovan Chatterjee’s joining it will be a major boost for the BJP and rest assured that the BJP will not only emerge victorious in the KMC polls but in the next Assembly elections Mamata’s party will not even get the Opposition status,” said Roy.

Six TMC MLAs have joined the BJP since the Lok Sabha election results were declared.

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