Tripura BJP MLA spotted at Trinamool office in Kolkata

Speculation rife that dissident camp has established contact with West Bengal ruing party

The visit of a Tripura BJP MLA to the Trinamool Congress office in Kolkata on Saturday gave rise to speculation that the dissident camp of the saffron party has established contact with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party.

MLA Ashis Das, who was spotted at the TMC office, however said he went to see a ‘friend’. He was evasive when asked on the phone if he will change sides.

Mr. Das has been known as a critic of his own government and party. He often convenes news conferences and takes to social media to ventilate his anger over certain decisions of the government and issues relating to law and order.

The dissident camp of the BJP is led by former Health Minister Sudip Roy Barman, known as a bête noire of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb. One of his close lieutenants, Ratul Dey, joined the TMC here on Saturday.

The TMC has been conducting an induction programme everyday ever since national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee has declared his plan to take on the BJP in the Assembly election due in early 2023.

Senior TMC leaders, who are frequenting the State to oversee the organisation, claimed that a number of BJP MLAs are in contact with them.

BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee said Mr. Das’s mere visit did not amount to breach of discipline. “The party would definitely react and act if the situation demands its intervention,” he told The Hindu.

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