KOLKATA: Rattled by the exit of four MLAs in the last 48 hours, the leadership of the ruling Trinamool Congress managed to flip at least one of them on Friday night in what appreared to be a seesaw battle for political eyeballs.
Wannabe defected Jitendra Tiwari said he wanted to “come back home”, adding: “I took the decision (leave the party) out of my pain. Mamata Banerjee had always been my role model. I talked to senior leaders of the party and decided to come back.’’
He is an MLA from Panvebswar and the former administrator of Asansol Municipal Corporation.
Sources in the TMC said Tiwari talked to Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee and other senior leaders and informed them that he was keen on returning to the party.
The sources further said Tiwari’s sudden retract is a sequel to strong objections from BJP’s Bengal functionaries as there was a buzz that he might join the saffron camp.
A section of BJP’s Bengal functionaries expressed their objection to Tiwari’s inclusion in the party. In a message Asansol MP and Union minister Babul Supriyo said the final decision would be taken by the party’s central leadership but he would not welcome Tiwari.
Echoing the same, BJP’s women wing president Agnimitra Paul said she does not like Tiwari because of his muscleman image in Asansol. Sayantan Basu, the general secretary of the party, too expressed his objection.
Earlier in the day, Barrackpore MLA Shilbhadra Dutta severed his links with the party. “Under the present circumstances, it is not possible for me to continue in the TMC. I have not yet decided what will be the fate of my political career,’’ he said.
There is strong speculation that Dutta might join the BJP. Hours after he resigned, the portrait of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee was removed from Dutta’s office. The exodus from the party started with the party’s East Midnapore strongman Suvendu Adhikari’s exit.
Suvendu’s security cover strengthened
Though Suvendu Adhikari is yet to join the BJP, the MHA has decided to provide him Z category CRPF security cover with a bulletproof vehicle in Bengal and Y+ security in other states.