KOLKATA: History repeats itself in West Bengal with BJP supporters taking over more than 200 Trinamool Congress party offices in West Bengal. After defeating the Left in 2011 in the historic Assembly election, CPM cadres had to hand over keys to more than 150 party offices to the Trinamool.
Expressing concern at her Kalighat residence, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said around 200 TMC party offices were taken over by the BJP and all will be returned to their rightful owners within Monday.
The reality, however, is that in most cases the ruling party’s foot soldiers handed over keys to local BJP leaders. BJP leader Mukul Roy on Sunday denied that any Trinamool office was taken over forcibly.
“BJP does not believe in it. People are joining BJP spontaneously,’’ he said.
A section of BJP leaders found it as a re-run of 2011.
“Trinamool workers are shifting their political loyalty after the Lok Sabha results were declared. They have not only handed over the keys but also helped us paint the offices saffron,’’ said a BJP leader in Cooch Behar in north Bengal.
Roy’s son Subhrangshu, the Trinamool MLA who was suspended for six years for issuing anti-party statements, said no TMC party office will exist in his Bijpur Assembly segment as the party already lost its acceptability among the public.
Most of the Trinamool offices were taken over in north Bengal from where the BJP secured victory in seven constituencies.
“In Barrackpore and West Midnapore, party offices were returned to the CPM,’’ said a BJP leader in West Midnapore district.
A senior BJP leader, however, found the decision to return party offices to the CPM a well calculated political move.
“Giving the Left a political space will affect Mamata Banerjee’s minority vote bank,’’ he said.