Assembly glare on defectors to BJP

The list of defectors includes Subhranshu Roy, Trinamul’s Bijpur MLA and senior BJP leader Mukul Roy’s son

By Sandip Chowdhury in Calcutta
  • Published 21.06.19, 1:30 AM
  • Updated 21.06.19, 1:30 AM
  • a min read
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Mukul Roy addresses the media in Calcutta on Sunday. (Sanat Kumar Sinha)

The Bengal Assembly’s monsoon session begins on Friday with the spotlight on Trinamul’s handling of the seven defectors to the BJP — four from the ruling party, two from the Congress and one from the Left.

From three in the last session, the BJP will have 13 legislators this time, six elected and the seven defectors. Four of those elected became MLAs in last month’s bypolls. Dilip Ghosh, who was an MLA, has now become an MP.

“We want to observe and watch the drama on the floor of the House on how the ruling dispensation handles the defectors,” said Abdul Mannan, leader of the Opposition.

The list of defectors includes Subhranshu Roy, Trinamul’s Bijpur MLA and senior BJP leader Mukul Roy’s son.

According to Mannan, a bigger embarrassment for Trinamul will be the presence of defectors among those shouting against the ruling party. “Trinamul has been paid back in its own coin. It remains to be seen how they handle the defectors,” said Mannan.

The Congress veteran had protested a series of defections from his party to Trinamul since the Mamata Banerjee government was re-elected in 2016 with 211 MLAs.

In the past three years, at least 20 MLAs from the Congress and the CPM defected to Trinamul. Mannan and CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty had repeatedly urged Speaker Biman Banerjee to take action against the turncoats under the anti-defection law.

“Despite repeated pleas, the defectors to Trinamul were allowed to stay on as legislators. This is nothing but a mockery of the democratic process,” said Chakraborty.

Speaker Banerjee declined comment on the recent defections to the BJP. “These MLAs were shown their new seats.”