Suvendu Adhikari, BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, along with 50 MLAs, met Governor Jagdeep Dhankar at Raj Bhawan in Kolkata on Monday and submitted a memorandum regarding the post-poll violence in the state.
Of the total 73 MLAs in the BJP, 23 of them did not accompany Adhikari to the governor's house, News18 reported.
This is the second time when Adhikari met the governor in June. Earlier he met the governor and submitted a representation about unabated post-poll retributive violence.
Why the Bengal governor referred to the anti-defection law
"Suvendu Adhikari has handed over a memorandum to me, attracting my attention towards four points including anti-defection law and incidents of Tiljala and Chandan Nagar," Dhankhar said.
"Being the constitutional head of the state, let me make it clear that anti-defection law is applicable in full force in Bengal. It's as much applicable here as in other parts of the country," the governor added.
After the governor, Adhikari said: "Todna-Jodna is part of TMC's dirty politics. They have been doing this for the past 10 years and nobody opposed it. But it is being opposed now and action will be taken under anti-defection law."
Why the remaining BJP MLAs did not accompany Adhikari
According to News18, Biswajit Das, an MLA from Bagdah in North 24 Parganas, who has reportedly expressed interest in reverse defection to TMC, skipped the meeting on Monday.
Some of the ministers from North Bengal were unable to attend due to the COVID-19 situation. Alipurduar MLA Suman Kanjilal and Falakata MLA Dipak Barman were among those who didn't travel to Kolkata in view of the pandemic.
On 11 June, BJP national vice-president Mukul Roy, once Mamata Banerjee's right-hand-man, returned to the TMC fold after spending 44 months at BJP.
Announcing Roy's induction to the party, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said, "Ghorer chhele ghore phirlo (the prodigal son returns). We welcome him back."
This happened two days after Adhikari had challenged TMC " his former party " and especially Abhishek Banerjee, to poach even one BJP MLA.
Meanwhile, The Wire quoted Kashem Ali, a close associate of Roy, as saying, "At least 20 BJP MLAs and many party workers are likely to join TMC in the coming days. BJP will break like a pack of cards. Just wait and watch."
What the governor earlier said on post-poll violence
Describing the law and order situation in post-poll Bengal as "extremely alarming" with numerous cases of killings and rapes recorded, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had on 6 June summoned Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi to learn about the steps being taken by the administration to contain this "retributive violence".
He had also claimed that the state police is "engaged as an extension of ruling dispensation to let loose vindictiveness on political opponents".
Dhankhar further said that lakhs of people were being displaced and property worth hundreds of crores vandalised in Bengal.
"Extremely alarming law and order scenario. Security environment is seriously compromised. In such a grim situation called upon (the) Chief Secretary to brief me on the law and order situation on 7 June and indicate all steps taken to contain post poll violence," he tweeted on Sunday.
The governor also alleged that people who have voted against the ruling TMC are victims of "targeted violence".
What Adhikari spoke about on Bengal's post-poll situation when he met the prime minister
Earlier on 11 June, the Leader of Opposition in the state called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence in New Delhi to apprise him of the plight of BJP workers amid post-poll violence in the state.
In the talks of over 40 minutes, Adhikari told Modi that post-poll violence this time was more "communal" than "political" and urged the prime minister for "speedy implementation" of CAA in Bengal.
Amid all the hullaballoo, TMC MP Mahua Moitra had accused the governor of being a "puppet" of the Centre and alleged he had appointed relatives as officers on special duty in his personal staff.
Moitra said the Governor appointed six of his relatives in the Raj Bhawan through jugaad. Taking names, the TMC MP said Raj Bhawan's website listed them as OSDs in his personal staff.
With inputs from agencies