Ex-TMC MP Trivedi joins BJP

New Delhi, Mar 06 (PTI):

Former TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi joined the BJP on Saturday, accusing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of abandoning her principles and alleging that people of the poll-bound state are distressed with “violence and corruption” under her government. Trivedi, once a trusted aide of Trinamool Congress (TMC) president Banerjee, was inducted into the BJP by party president J P Nadda and other leaders, including Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan, and he claimed that the poll-bound state is now going to see a “real change”. The former TMC leader told reporters here that the party he was in earlier, a family is “served”, and he is now joining a party which serves people. The development comes weeks after he announced quitting his Rajya Sabha membership on the floor of the House deploring “violence” in the state and claiming that he felt stifled in the regional party.
Lauding the former Union minister who started his political career with the Congress and then joined the Janata Dal before spending over two decades in the TMC as a principled politician, Nadda said he was earlier a right person in the wrong party and is now in the right party.
Trivedi said he had been waiting for this “golden moment” and added that family is supreme in some parties but it is people who are supreme in the BJP. The saffron party would not have seen such a growth if it had not put the interests of the country foremost, he said.
Slamming its former member for switching over to the BJP, the TMC said he is “ungrateful” and has backstabbed the ruling party in West Bengal ahead of the assembly polls.
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said, “For the last so many years, he did not say anything. Now, just before the state assembly polls, he has made complaints about the party. He is ungrateful and has betrayed people of the state.”
At the press conference here, Trivedi also praised the Modi government for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the issues involving neighbouring countries.
“Politics is not a ‘khela’,” said Trivedi referring to the TMC’s slogan “khela hobe…” (game on) and then added, “It is serious work. But Mamata Banerjee has abandoned her principles while playing the game.”
“People of the state are distressed with violence and corruption, and are also happy that a real change is now going to happen,” he said.
Welcoming Trivedi, BJP chief Nadda said he had spent his political life by fighting for principles and paying a price. This also shows as to how leaders of different hues are joining the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership to serve the country, he said.
“The Trinamool Congress is rife with corruption and opportunism, and it believes in murdering democracy and stifling institutions. That is why a sensitive and sensible person like him has left it to join the BJP,” Nadda said.
Senior BJP leaders discounted the possibility of Trivedi contesting the assembly polls, saying he is keen to be part of national politics.
A number of TMC leaders have quit the party in recent months to join the BJP as the saffron party mounts an aggressive all-out campaign to end Chief Minister Banerjee’s 10-year-old reign in the state.
Trivedi (70) was once a close confidant of TMC president Banerjee and was her choice for holding the important railway ministry portfolio in the Union Cabinet during the UPA government.
Though his ties with her strained resulting in him being removed from the cabinet, they later patched up. After losing the Lok Sabha election in 2019, he was sent to the Rajya Sabha by the party.
With the BJP being successful in wooing over a number of TMC leaders to its fold, the saffron party has said that this underscores an increasing unease in its rival camp and is a pointer to the BJP’s “decisive” victory in the assembly polls to be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29.

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