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Bloc leaders join BJP

Calcutta, July 20: A former Forward Bloc MLA and two other senior leaders who said they resigned earlier this month today joined the BJP along with 1,000 cadres.

The Bloc leaders cited the Left’s “failure” to protect its members from “Trinamul terror” as the reason for the defection. In the past few months, a steady stream of workers from Trinamul and the Left has joined the BJP.

“Our leaders have failed to protect cadres, who are being attacked by Trinamul activists. What should we do if our leaders do not stand by us?” said Bithika Mondal, a former Bloc MLA from Barasat, after joining the BJP at Netaji Institute near Sealdah station this afternoon.

Anirban Choudhury, a former Bloc state committee member, and Ajay Agnihotri, an ex-Calcutta district secretariat member, also joined the BJP today.

Choudhury and Agnihotri said they were unhappy with the “way the organisation is being run”. Although the two said they resigned on July 1, the Bloc leadership said they had been expelled.

BJP state president Rahul Sinha termed the day “memorable”.

Subhasish Dutta, who used to oversee the Bloc’s organisation in Bhowanipore, also joined the BJP today. “The day a Left delegation met chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna was the day the Front surrendered to Trinamul. Nothing could have angered us more,” he said.

Asked about the Bloc leaders’ allegation that the Left was doing little to protect its members, CPM state secretariat member Shyamal Chakraborty said: “What do our people do if Trinamul uses its muscle power to engineer defections?”