BJP MP Arjun Singh returns to Trinamool after 3 years
Kolkata, May 22: Arjun Singh, the former West Bengal BJP vice-president, quit the saffron party to join the Trinamool Congress on Sunday.
Singh was welcomed into the party by TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee at his office in south Kolkata.
"Warmly welcoming former Vice President of @BJP4Bengal and MP from Barrackpore, Shri @ArjunsinghWB into the All India Trinamool Congress family. He joins us today in the presence of our National General Secretary Shri @abhishekaitc," the TMC said on its official Twitter handle.
Warmly welcoming former Vice President of @BJP4Bengal and MP from Barrackpore, Shri @ArjunsinghWB into the All India Trinamool Congress family.— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) May 22, 2022
He joins us today in the presence of our National General Secretary Shri @abhishekaitc. pic.twitter.com/UuOB9yp9Xo
Singh, who had been a part of the TMC since its inception in 1998, said "some misunderstandings" made him sever ties with the party three years ago. "The problems have now been sorted out, and we will work as one family under the leadership of (Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee," he said.
On why he chose to quit the BJP, Singh said the Union government was neglecting the jute industry of West Bengal, an allegation he has been making in the last few weeks. "Despite my protest over the Centre's jute policy, nothing much has been achieved. The government recently took a step, but that is only a minor measure. We still have a long way to go," he said.
"The Bengal BJP needs to come out of Facebook and AC-room politics. In Bengal, if you want to build an organisation, you have to hit the streets and mix with the masses. Issuing sermons won't work," he said at a press conference here.
Singh, who has been critical of the Centre's jute policy, had recently also slammed the state BJP leadership for not allowing him to work despite holding a senior position in the organisation.
One of the prominent Hindi-speaking leaders of the TMC, Singh joined the saffron camp just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 and went on to win from the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat.
The BJP unit in the state has been fighting hard to keep its flock together after former Union minister Babul Supriyo and five legislators, including national vice-president Mukul Roy, switched over to the TMC since the assembly poll results last year. Several senior TMC leaders like Rajib Banerjee and Sabyasachi Dutta, who had joined the saffron camp, too, returned to the Mamata Banerjee-led party.