The May 2 results, which brought back Mamata Banerjee to power with a sweeping mandate, seem to have triggered a realisation in Trinamool turncoats who are now aiming for ‘Ghar Wapsi’.
The trend was started by Sonali Guha, four-time MLA and once considered the shadow of Banerjee, who admitted to her “mistake” of jumping ship to the BJP. “The way a fish cannot stay out of the water, I will not be able to live without you, ‘Didi’. I seek your forgiveness and if you don’t forgive me, I won’t be able to live. Please allow me to come back, and spend the rest of my life in your affection,” she added.
This was followed by footballer-cum-politician Dipendu Biswas who said he took a “bad decision” by leaving the party and joining the BJP and wants to return. He added that his decision to quit was “emotional” and he feared being “inactive”. He also expressed his desire to work for the Basirhat South constituency.
The latest on the block seems to be Mukul Roy, with BJP insiders claiming he is on his way back to the TMC. There was buzz in political circles recently when Roy’s son Subhrangshu thanked Banerjee for reaching out to his family in the “hour of need”, hinting that the possibility of a political realignment remained on the table.
His mother, Krishna Roy, is on life support at a private hospital in Kolkata. His father, Mukul Roy, too had contracted Covid-19 and was now recovering. “I am grateful that Mamata Banerjee, through various means, has enquired how my father is doing in the post-Covid period. Their family is with us in this hour of need,” he said.
He also mentioned that Abhishek Banerjee, the chief minister’s nephew and a parliamentarian, had visited Kolkata’s Apollo Hospitals, where Krishna Roy is undergoing treatment.
Another name doing the rounds is Rajib Banerjee, a former state minister who walked out of the TMC ahead of the Assembly polls earlier this year. The BJP leader on Tuesday 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. Banerjee, after quitting the TMC in January, 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”.
The former legislator, who skipped a meeting of the state BJP leadership during the day over post-poll violence, said everyone should rise above politics and stand beside the people of the state, amid the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and cyclone Yaas. “People will not take kindly to it if, for the sake opposing a government elected with huge popular support, threats of Delhi and Article 356 (President’s rule) are used at the drop of a hat.
So far as the Trinamool Congress is concerned, All India General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee said the final call of opening the doors to turncoats would be taken by the chairperson though party insiders believe TMC is in no hurry to take them back.
Sources within the party said those who jumped ship ditched the party during its low phase, with several of them blackmailing the top brass. Also, bringing them back may tarnish the image of the TMC which has won with a thumping majority.
The appeals of turncoats for ‘Ghar Wapsi’ have not yet been answered by the chief minister and it is now a game of wait and watch for them.