A day after Mukul Roy joined Trinamool Congress leaving the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), former West Bengal minister Rajib Banerjee, who had joined the BJP only months before the assembly elections, met Trinamool leader Kunal Ghosh today fuelling speculations of return to his former party.
Mr Banerjee, who unsuccessfully fought the elections on BJP ticket from Domjur, went to state Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh’s residence in Kolkata where the two had a long meeting which later both described as a “courtesy call”.
“Please do not try to look into this as something different. I had come to see one of my relatives who is staying in the same locality of Kunalda’s. This is nothing but a courtesy call. There was no political talk between us,” Mr Banerjee said.
After Muku Roy’s homecoming, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that “we will consider the case of those who had left the TMC with Mukul for BJP and want to come back.”
However, Ms Banerjee clarified that Trinamool politicians and workers who left to join the BJP just ahead of the April-May assembly elections will not be taken back.
When asked about his current position, Rajib Banerjee said he has some reservations regarding the BJP’s principles.
“I definitely have reservations about the principles of the party (BJP) and I have let my party leaders know about it… But today’s meeting with Kunalda has no connection with that,” he added.
Mr Banerjee earlier this week had warned members of his new party over a social media post that “people will not take kindly to threats of President’s rule against a government elected with a huge mandate”.
The vehicle which Mr Banerjee used to visit Mr Ghosh’s residence had several stickers and “uttorio” (shawls) of the Trinamool.
After quitting the Trinamool in January, Mr Banerjee had claimed that he was forced to do so as a section of party leaders “humiliated him for airing his grievances over their style of functioning”.
Mr Banerjee had served as minister in the TMC government both in 2011 and 2016.
Several former TMC MLAs including Dipendu Biswas and Sonali Guha have in the recent past sent letters regretting their decision to join the BJP and sought to return back to the party’s fold.
Ms Guha, who at one time was considered close to Ms Banerjee, made an impassioned plea on camera seeking the chief minister’s forgiveness. Ms Guha, a four-time legislator from Satgachia in South 24 Parganas, had also written in a letter “the way fish cannot stay out of water, I will not be able to live without you, Didi“.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)