In another setback to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee two-time Trinamool Congress MLA Deepak Kumar Halder joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday. He had resigned from the TMC on Monday.
Though several other legislators of TMC have in the past few weeks crossed over to the BJP, Halder’s move has acquired political significance as the Diamond Harbour Assembly segment which he represents in the West Bengal Assembly falls in Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency. It is represented in the Parliament by Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Halder joined the party at Baruipur in South 24 Parganas district where the BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and Rajiv Banerjee were present. These two leaders were ministers in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet till a few weeks back.
Halder charged that he was not getting due respect in the TMC and was not allowed to work freely.
It needs to be mentioned that BJP president J P Nadda’s cavalcade was attacked with stones by alleged TMC supporters on December 10 last while he was on way to Diamond Harbour where he was going to attend a workers’ meeting. This incident sparked off a row between the BJP and TMC and the ministry of home affairs ordered the transfer of three senior IPS officers looking after Nadda’s security to the Centre.
Commenting on Halder’s exit TMC MP Saugata Roy said that his party would win 218 Assembly seats this time against 211 in 2016.