Former Kolkata mayor and Trinamool Congress MLA, Sovan Chatterjee, joined the BJP on Wednesday, 14 August, in New Delhi.
Chatterjee, a former minister of the Mamata Banerjee government, joined the party in the presence of its senior West Bengal leader Mukul Roy and its general secretary Arun Singh.
Welcoming Chatterjee, Roy said he was one of those leaders who has made a big contribution to Banerjee’s rise to the post of chief minister.
"He will now strengthen the BJP... Let me repeat that TMC will not even get the status of the opposition party," he told reporters.
Chatterjee was asked to step down both as a minister in the TMC government and as Kolkata mayor by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in November last year following troubles in his personal life. After that, he took a sabbatical from active politics.
According to sources, Chatterjee was in touch with the BJP for the last few months. He met BJP leaders in New Delhi last month fuelling speculations that he might switch over to the saffron camp.
After its shock result in the Lok Sabha polls, the ruling TMC tried to woo Chatterjee, who is known for his organisational capabilities. But the efforts didn't yield any positive result.
Six TMC MLAs, and one each of Congress and CPI(M) have switched over to BJP since the results of Lok Sabha polls were announced in May.
The BJP has made deep inroads in West Bengal in the Lok Sabha polls by winning 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, just four less than TMC.
(This copy is an arrangement of two PTI copies)
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