MLA mellows down stance after quitting TMC, says willing to talk to party leadership

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Kolkata, Dec 18 (PTI) A day after quitting the ruling TMC in Bengal, MLA Jitendra Tiwari Friday mellowed down his stance and expressed his desire to meet the party's top brass, after Union minister Babul Supriyo, speculating his entry into the BJP, said that he wasn't welcome in the saffron camp.

Tiwari, who was also the Asansol civic body chief, quit the TMC on Thursday, following in the footsteps of the party's former heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari.

Sources close to the leaders indicated that they may join the BJP soon, but things seems to have taken a different turn for Tiwari, as Supriyo and other BJP leaders opposed his entry into the saffron party.

Taking to Facebook, the Union minister said he would try his best to ensure that TMC leaders, who had in the past 'tortured' grassroots BJP activists, do not get to join his party.

'What my Top Bosses decide is a different thing, but I will try my very best with all my might & honesty to ensure that NO #TMC leader who tormented, tortured (both Physically & Mentally) my grass root level BJP colleagues in Asansol, don't get an entry in BJP !! (sic),' he said.

Supriyo also dismissed rumours that he had 'under- the-table dealings with TMC leaders of Asansol'.

Reports suggested that BJP state president Dilip Ghosh has also come out in support of Supriyo.

Tiwari, on his part, said he has never expressed any desire to join the BJP.

'I had never said I would join the party (BJP). I want to meet TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and party leader Abhishek Banerjee. Let's see what happens,' he said.

Tiwari resigned as the chairman of the Asansol Municipal Corporation's board of administrators and Paschim Bardhaman district chief on Thursday, days after he accused the West Bengal government of depriving the industrial town of central funds.

Sources had said he was supposed to meet Banerjee on Friday and talk about his grievances. Shortly after resigning from the party, however, Tiwari had said he wouldn't meet Banerjee.

Hinting that a rebellion was brewing in the ruling party ahead of the assembly polls, Adhikari had on Wednesday night held a closed-door meeting with its disgruntled leaders, including Jitendra Tiwari and senior MP Sunil Mandal, in Paschim Bardhaman district.

Elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly are likely to be held in April-May next year. PTI PNT RMS RMS