BJP PLANS A POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE FOR MAMATA
Mukul Roy’s entry can be a game changer for BJP in Bengal. A poll strategist par excellence, he is known for his organisational skills. He is considered as one of the men who built Trinamool.
Politics in West Bengal is set to undergo tectonic shifts that will impact the political future of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The BJP central leadership has, according to political heavyweights in the state, put into operation a plan by which the party intends to win over big guns of the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress. These leaders will then join hands with the BJP to take on the Trinamool government in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 and the Assembly elections of 2021. The Trinamool leaders that the BJP wants in its fold, according to sources in the state unit of the national party, are Suvendu Adhikari, Saugata Roy and Bratya Basu, among others. Adhikari, the Transport Minister in the Banerjee government, is one of the most influential leaders in the state, with complete sway over at least two important districts of West and East Medinipur that account for 35 Assembly and five Lok Sabha seats. He was the architect of the Trinamool’s successful agitation in Nandigram around 2007, which triggered the CPM’s downfall in Bengal. Highly placed sources claimed that the BJP leadership wants Adhikari, who is in his mid-40s, to be the face of their campaign in Bengal. Saugata Roy, who is the brother of Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy, is MP from Dum Dum, while Bratya Basu is Information Technology and Electronics Minister. Another Trinamool heavyweight, Mukul Roy, has already resigned from the working committee of the party and is set to resign from the Rajya Sabha next week. Sources in the state unit of the BJP claim that he will join their party soon. From the Congress, the BJP wants Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in its fold. Chowdhury, who was a minister in the Manmohan Singh government and is at present MP and Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president, is one of the biggest names in state politics. An MP from Baharampur in Murshidabad district, he is influential in both his own district and in adjacent Nadia. The other Congress leader that the BJP wants is another grassroots politician, Shankar Malakar, MLA from Matigara-Naxalbari in north Bengal. In addition, sources claim that CPM’s former leader, the young Ritabrata Banerjee is about to join BJP.
The BJP is hopeful that if it is able to convince these leaders to cross over, more than a handful of Trinamool