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There is a rush to join BJP in Bengal, but party is choosy about inducting people: Vijayvargiya

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KOLKATA: A day ahead of home minister Amit Shah‘s visit to West Bengal, BJP general secretary and party in charge for the state Kailash Vijayvargiya said hundreds of workers and office bearers of the Trinamool Congress, CPI, CPM and Congress would join the BJP on Saturday in Medinipur town where Shah is scheduled to address a public rally.

“We don’t have the list yet, but the number could even run into thousands, largely of workers and different levels from panchayat to district. Everybody knows that the BJP is going to form the government and hence wants to be with us. But the party decides finally who can be inducted,” he told ET on Friday morning.

Vijayvargiya claimed that apart from misgovernance of the TMC, it was the high-handedness of the party leadership that was driving people out of its fold. He said the state’s ruling party was indulging in criminalising the administration which he warned would have consequences.

“The IPS and IAS officials are behaving in a very biased way, even overlooking crime that is happening in front of their eyes. The Centre has full right to demand answers from them,” he said.

The recent addition of TMC leaders into the BJP fold has elicited reactions even from the party leaders. Minister of state in the union cabinet, Babul Supriyo, on Thursday said he would ensure that no TMC leader from his constituency entered into the BJP, in a reaction to the rumours that former Asansol civic body head Jitendra Tiwari might join the saffron camp. While accepting that the decision taken by the central leadership would be of top priority, he also said that Asansol residents would never want Tiwari, who he said had thrashed BJP workers.

Tiwari on Friday night said he will remain in TMC and also apologize to the CM.

Following the resignations of Suvendu Adhikari, former strongman of the TMC, a few others including Silbhadra Datta, MLA from Barrackpore assembly constituency in North 24 Parganas, tendered his resignation from the state’s ruling party. Some weeks back, an MLA from Cooch Behar, Mihir Goswami, had also joined the BJP.

During his two-day tour of Midnapore and Birbhum districts, Shah will visit two temples and the ancestral houses of Swami Vivekananda and Khudiram Bose, and have meals with the families of a farmer and a baul singer, apart from attending a roadshow and a public rally, and presiding over election management review meetings with the central ministers who have been given the responsibility of reaching out to workers in one zone each in the state.

Trinamool MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar underplayed BJP’s claims of poaching its leaders, and said some people who “used” chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s name wrongly and had amassed huge illegal wealth were now leaving the party ahead of the assembly elections of 2021 for fear of its consequences. “Some are being pressured by the BJP, but some of these leaders have either not done any work, or know already that they do not have the people’s support anymore,” she said.

TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had already started taking action and these leaders have hence decided to leave the party, Dastidar added.

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