KOLKATA: Sovan Chatterjee, the TMC leader who joined BJP recently, Tuesday said that he is ready to contest against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the next assembly polls if the saffron party wanted it.
He dismissed allegations that he had switched over to the saffron camp to avoid CBI interrogations into the Narada scam.
Chatterjee, who was once a trusted lieutenant of the TMC supremo, had in the past been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI in the Narada scam.
"When I was in TMC, I was a loyal soldier of that party. Now I have joined the BJP and will be its loyal soldier. I will do whatever my party asks me to do.
"If they ask me to contest against Mamata Banerjee in next election I will do so," he said at his first press conference at the state BJP headquarters.
Chatterjee and his close aide Baisakhi Banerjee were felicitated by West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh at a function here on Tuesday.
Banerjee was the president of the Trinamool Congress Professors cell who had joined the saffron party along with him on August 14 in New Delhi.
When asked whether he had switched over to BJP to save himself from interrogations into the Narada tape scam, Chatterjee said "All of you should remember that it (the Narada scam) is a subjudice matter.
"And there is huge difference between being accused and proven guilty. Nothing has been proved as of now," he said.
Chatterjee is a four-time MLA of the TMC and two-time mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation besides being a minister.
Chatterjee was asked by the chief minister to resign from his post as both minister and mayor in November 2018 following problems in his personal life.
Since then he had taken a sabbatical from politics and his joining BJP had taken political observers by surprise.