Blow to Mamata Banerjee as Trinamool lawmaker joins BJP, more to follow suit

File photo of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. Photograph:( WION Web Team )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 10, 2019, 09.45 AM (IST)

In a major blow to West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee ahead of Lok Sabha elections, party MP Saumitra Khan on Wednesday joined the BJP.

Khan's induction is being seen as upping of its offensive by the BJP with ex-Trinamool heavyweight Mukul Roy, who had himself joined its fold in 2017 after a bitter fallout with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying it was just a beginning and many more may follow, reported news agency PTI.

Within hours of Khan, a young turk considered close to Roy, joining the BJP in the national capital, Trinamool announced his expulsion, as also that of another young MP Anupam Hazra.

Khan is a Lok Sabha member from the Bishnupur seat in Bankura, while Hazra represents the Bolpur seat in the Birbhum district.

Following this, the strength of the TMC in Lok Sabha has reduced from 34 to 32.

The BJP has identified West Bengal as one of the priority states and party chief Amit Shah had set a target of 22 seats. It had won two of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2014. 

Story highlights

Within hours of Khan, a young turk considered close to Roy, joining the BJP in the national capital, Trinamool announced his expulsion, as also that of another young MP Anupam Hazra.