Several leaders of the Trinamool Congress including half a dozen MLAs have come out in the open protesting against the party decision to deny them ticket. Some of them broke down before journalists while expressing disappointment and some expressed willingness to join the BJP.
The list includes Sonali Guha, Satgachia MLA and close confidant of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “Why did she do this to me. I was like her family member… She did not even call to tell me why I was denied ticket,” Ms. Guha said. She said she approached BJP leader Mukul Roy and was keen on joining the saffron party. Dipali Saha, MLA from Sonamukhi in Bankura, who was also denied the ticket joined the BJP on Saturday.
The other MLAs who could not hide their emotions include Moinuddin Shams (Nalhati), Naresh Barui (Dubrajpur) and Shampa Daripa (Bankura). Jatu Lahiri, 84, MLA from Shibpur in Howrah district, also announced his decision to quit the TMC. Party strongman and former MLA Arabul Islam has also made his disappointment public after being denied ticket from Bhangar in South 24 Parganas. Not only were there protests but supporters blocked prominent roads and national highways and in places like Bhangar attacked party offices.
Sources in the TMC said there was no question of any alterations to the list announced on Saturday. The list is a result of careful surveys conducted over the past several months and the party has given importance to winnability.
More than 26 MLAs have been dropped from the list. Political commentator and psephologist Biswanath Chakraborty said such protests will not be limited to the TMC and the BJP will have to grapple with them once the full list is announced.
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“This tells volumes about the nature of politics here. In fact, the disappointment is also linked with the loss of economic clout as an MLA. This explains quitting the party and joining the other party within hours after being denied ticket,” Mr. Chakraborty, who is head of political science at the Rabindra Bharati University, said.