In another jolt for the West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), senior leader Rajib Banerjee rejoined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on October 31.
Banerjee was re-inducted into his erstwhile party at a public meeting in Tripura, where the TMC has launched a hectic campaign to unseat the BJP from power in the assembly elections set to be held in 2023.
Banerjee was welcomed back into the party by TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, who was present at the public meeting in Agartala, the capital of Tripura.
Ashish Das, a Tripura BJP legislator who recently left the party, also joined the TMC in presence of Abhishek Banerjee.
We wholeheartedly welcome Shri @RajibBanerjeeWB and sitting @BJP4Tripura MLA Shri Ashish Das, into our Trinamool Congress family.
Both leaders have joined us today in the presence of our National General Secretary Shri @abhishekaitc, in Tripura.
— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) October 31, 2021
The exit of Rajib Banerjee comes in the backdrop of five BJP MLAs in Bengal leaving the party since the assembly elections held in April-May this year. The process began with the return of Mukul Roy and his son to the TMC, followed by the defection of BJP MLAs Tanmoy Ghosh, Biswajit Das and Soumen Roy to the Mamata Banerjee-led party.
Notably, Rajib Banerjee had left the TMC in January, months before the assembly elections. A two-time MLA from Domjur constituency, he was unable to retain his seat on the BJP ticket.
Despite distancing himself away from the BJP state unit, Banerjee was named as “special invitee" to the party's national executive earlier this month. The move, apparently aimed at curbing his dissent, had reportedly irked some of the party's state leaders who believed that he would be eventually switching ranks to the TMC.