Kolkata, March 10: Angry over denial of nomination to fight the ensuing assembly poll, Trinamul Congress MLA Gouri Sankar Dutta joined BJP in Kolkata on Wednesday. Dutta, Trinamul’s former district unit president, represents the Tehatta assembly constituency since 2016.
A section of the Trinamul leadership in Nadia has welcomed Dutta’s exit from the party accusing him of anti-party activities and indulging internal bickering during his seven-year tenures as the party president in Nadia.
Former Trinamul Councillors of Krishnanagar Municipality Debananda Sharma (Babusona) and Ayan Dutta, as well as Raja Roy Chowdhury and Ratan Biswas, both Trinamul’s youth wing leaders also joined BJP along with Gouri Sankar Dutta at the party’s Hastings office in the presence of West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh and party leader Rajib Banerjee.
Gouri Sankar Dutta is the seventh Trinamul MLA who joined the BJP during the last two weeks. Minister Bachchu Hansda also joined the BJP on the day with him at the same event. Earlier on Monday Trinamul MLA Sonali Guha, Rabindranath Bhattacharya, Jatu Lahiri, Sital Sardar, Dipendu Biswas. The number of Trinamul MLAs so far left the party raised to 26 since the publication of results of 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Speaking to the media persons after joining the BJP, Dutta said, “It was quite humiliating to me as the party leadership did not bother to apprise me before denying a nomination. It was quite unexpected that the party for which I toiled for the last 20 years hurt me this way”. He also claimed to have joined the BJP without any prejudice and ‘expectation’ to be nominated for the ensuing poll. “I do not expect a ticket from the party which I joined barely twenty minutes ago”, Dutta added.
However, Trinamul insiders claimed that Dutta was offered to fight from the Krishnanagar North assembly segment instead of Tehatta, where he won in 2016. But, he refused to fight from Krishnanagar North seat where Trinamul had trailed by 53551 votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. “Dutta was offered a seat at his home turf as he has been suffering from several health-related problems. But, he became apprehensive of a defeat considering the trailing margin of the Lok Sabha poll in the segment”, a party official claimed.
Reacting to Dutta’s joining to BJP, a Trinamul leader in Krishnanagar said, “He became a potential trouble maker to the party, particularly ever since Mahua Moitra taken over the charge of party affairs in the district. He was inciting party activists against her indulging rift inside the party. His departure from the party would help us to retain our support base that has been seriously affected due his style of functioning”.