There is a beeline that is being made by several members of the Trinamool Congress party to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP, however, would carefully scrutinize every entry and not open the doors blindly since they do realize the mistake that was made in Karnataka in the form of Operation Lotus or Operation Kamala.
A senior BJP leader from Delhi tells oneindia that those wanting to party hop will not get a free entry into the party. There will be a thorough scrutiny of every entrant as we are aware of how we burnt our fingers in Karnataka when we undertook Operation Lotus.
Beware of the opposition game:
It is hard to tell whether several members of the TMC are abandoning the ship because it is sinking or due to the Saradha scam or because they are attracted to the BJP ideology. While time would tell what the real intent is the party leadership however says it is exercising caution.
Mamata Banerjee in a recent closed door meeting of her party leaders had fumed at the exodus from her party. In her own words she said, let who ever wants to go just go. However, on the Mukul Roy issue she appeared to be a bit confused and on one hand while she fumed on the other, she came out and claimed that several Mukul Roys would hit the street if he is arrested.
The BJP says it is taking no chances and there are possibilities of it being a deliberate ploy on part of their opposition in West Bengal to send its cadre in and then embarrass the party.
How Operation Lotus went wrong:
When the BJP came to power in Karnataka there was a divided opinion on whether to carry out an operation like Operation Lotus. The BJP did have the numbers to run the government with the help of the independents. The question that was raised at that time was whether it was necessary to rope in people from other parties especially the Janata Dal (S).
Many senior leaders of the BJP in Karnataka tried to persuade those in favour of operation Lotus that it could prove counter-productive since the members being roped in do not subscribe originally to the BJP's ideology or are not from the grass roots.
The BJP did pay the price for blindly roping in people from other parties. It was evident the kind of ruckus that these persons caused time and again which foced the government to keep seeking a trust vote.
It was only later did they realize that some of the members were intentionally asked to join the BJP and stay on until further orders. The further orders which came a year after the BJP assumed power was to disrupt the government, cause embarrassments and indulge in resort politics.
Once bitten twice shy:
The BJP says it is careful this time around. No person from the TMC who has a Saradha taint is being taken into the party. Even if persons are taken into the party be it from the AAP or the TMC we will ensure that they are not given important positions immediately.
We will watch their performance and behaviour for a considerable amount of time before important portfolios are given to them. We will ensure it does not become a case of once bitten twice shy.
Dealing with the heartburn:
Another aspect that the BJP needs to be careful about is not to once again repeat the Karnataka mistake. In Karnataka once persons from other parties were roped in they were immediately promoted to a cabinet rank.
This led to a lot of heart burn within the party and several who had worked for the party for decades felt cheated. They began to stay aloof and at times work against the party and this led to possibly one of the biggest political fall of a party which had risen magically.
To quote a senior Congress leader in Karnataka after the BJP won in 2007. " We will need to retire for at least another 15 days. The BJP wave is so strong that none can touch it for another 15 years."
What happened in the five years of the BJP rule and the elections that followed is something that none would have ever imagined.