BJP, TMC workers scuffle after trading barbs

Kolkata: Sonali Guha, once a close aide of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and a four-time MLA of the party, on Sunday said she will join the BJP, two days after being denied a ticket for the upcoming assembly polls in West Bengal.

Guha told reporters she was requested by BJP national vice president Mukul Roy to join the saffron party at its Hastings office here on Monday.

“I have been asked by Mukulda to come to the Hastings office tomorrow at 1 pm and will join the BJP there,” she said.

The former deputy speaker of the West Bengal assembly iterated that she had never thought such a day would come in her life but was compelled to take the decision.

The MLA from Satgachia alleged that she was not given due respect in the Trinamool Congress.

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“I had given all my efforts for the TMC. ‘Didi’ (Mamata Banerjee) and others know that very well. I will now devote myself equally to the new party,” she said.

Guha had broken down on Friday immediately after getting the news that she was not being given the Trinamool Congress ticket this time.

“I was not informed about the decision and not taken into confidence,” she said.

Several TMC leaders have quit the party in recent months to join the BJP as the saffron party mounts an aggressive all-out campaign to end Banerjee’s 10-year-old reign in the state.

Elections to 294 assembly seats in West Bengal will be held in eight phases, beginning on March 27. Votes will be counted on May 2.

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