Former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, who had resigned as TMC MP in Rajya Sabha on February 12, joined BJP at the party headquarters in New Delhi today. He joined the party in the presence of BJP National President JP Nadda and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
“I’ll be active in election process, irrespective of whether I contest or not. Bengal has rejected TMC. They want progress, not corruption or violence. They’re ready for real change. Politics isn’t ‘khela’, it’s serious. She (CM) forgot her ideals while playing,” Trivedi said after joining the BJP, as reported by news agency.
Meanwhile, BJP chief JP Nadda welcomed Trivedi and said that the former TMC Rajya Sabha MP will play an active role in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021.
“I welcome Dinesh Trivedi to BJP. I always used to say he was the right person in the wrong party but now he is in the right party,” Nadda said.
Trivedi’s decision to join the BJP ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal is a major boost for the saffron party which is hoping to end the 10-year rule of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the state.
Trivedi had resigned from his Raya Sabha position last month, citing “political violence” in the state. The 70-year-old, who served as Railway Minister in 2012, said he cannot sit as a “mute spectator” in the Parliament and will continue to work for the people of West Bengal.
He later hinted to join BJP saying “it would be a privilege” for him. The former TMC MP also slammed Mamata Banerjee and said that she should know that a head cannot be held high if there is an “environment of violence”.
The TMC, however, said that Trivedi’s departure will not affect the party and it will surely win the upcoming polls in the state. Since December, several TMC leaders, including Suvendu Adhikari and Rajib Banerjee, have joined the BJP.
Meanwhile, on Friday West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee released a list of 291 candidates and announced that she will contest from Nandigram seat. The names included 50 women, 42 Muslim candidates.
Mamata Banerjee told reporters, “We have focused on young people this time, and 27-28 seats will be given to youngsters,” adding “Those above 80 years of age have been dropped in the wake of COVID-19 situation and in view Election Commission norms.”
The BJP is likely to release its first list of candidates for West Bengal on March 7 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Brigade Rally in Kolkata.
The state election will be held across eight phases from March 27 to April 29, the results of which will be declared on May 2.