In a surprise turn of events the Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA and former mayor of Asansol Jitendra Tiwari returned to the party fold less than 30 hours after quitting from all the posts. There was every indication that Tiwari was to join the Bharatiya Janata Party when the Union home minister Amit Shah was to visit the state on Dec 19-20.
It was only on Thursday evening that Jitendra disclosed his decision to quit the TMC after his meeting with Suvendu Adhikari, former minister in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet who had resigned from the party only a day earlier.
However, late on Friday night he made it public that he is returning to the party fold and said that it was a mistake to leave Mamata Banerjee.
Incidentally, this development took place on the day the TMC lost two of its legislators. Both of them, along with Suvendu, are likely to join the BJP before Amit Shah. Reports said that, along with the damage limitation exercise by the TMC, another factor which prompted Jitendra Tiwari was the stiff opposition he was facing from the BJP MP from Asansol and Union minister, Babul Supriyo. When the news of Jitendra’s resignation from the TMC came Babul Supriyo publicly stated that he would oppose the former’s entry into the saffron party.
Jitendra, who not only quit as the MLA, but also from the post of mayor, is considered as a strongman of TMC in Asansol.
His return to the TMC fold would certainly give some relief to the party and is considered as a sort of setback to the BJP which is otherwise a major beneficiary of this political upheaval in West Bengal’s politics.
Now it is to be seen whether Jitendra’s return would stop the exodus from the party towards the BJP.
However, one thing is clear. If Babul Supriyo factor is really responsible then it seems that everything is not hunky-dory in the Bengal BJP. Many old guards of the party are not very much appreciative of the BJP central leadership’s move to take turncoats into the party.
This is the one reason why former Union minister and senior TMC leader Mukul Roy could not get his due though he had joined the saffron brigade in 2017.
Besides unlike Mamata Banerjee there is no towering leader in West Bengal BJP to be projected as the chief ministerial face.