BJP leader Mithun Chakraborty today claimed that 38 MLAs of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress are in touch with his party and 21 are in “direct contact” with him. The comments come days after Mamata Banerjee accused the BJP of planning an “Operation Lotus” in Bengal to try and upend her government.
“Do you want to hear breaking news? At this moment, as we are sitting here, 38 Trinamool Congress MLAs have very good ties with us, of which 21 are in direct (contact with me). I leave the rest to you to figure out,” the actor-turned-politician told reporters in Kolkata.
When pressed for answers, Mithun Chakraborty said: “Don’t ask me to release the trailer, enjoy the music.”
#WATCH | West Bengal: Do you want to hear breaking news? At this moment, 38 TMC MLAs have very good relations with us, out of which 21 are in direct (contact with us): BJP leader Mithun Chakraborty in Kolkata pic.twitter.com/1AI7kB4H5I
— ANI (@ANI) July 27, 2022
Just two days ago, Mamata Banerjee had thrown a challenge to the BJP, referring to the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra after a revolt in the Shiv Sena in which the BJP played a supporting role.
The Bengal Chief Minister said she had heard her state was next on the BJP’s agenda.
“Maharashtra has not been able to fight this time. They say after Maharashtra it will be Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bengal. Try coming here. You will have to cross the Bay of Bengal. The crocodiles will bite you. And in the Sunderbans the Royal Bengal tiger will bite you. In North Bengal the elephants will roll over you,” she said.
Ms Banerjee has accused the BJP of trying every means to bring her down in Bengal. Last year, she won a third term in Bengal after fighting off a tough challenge from the BJP, which had invested all its resources and its top leaders in the state election campaign.
Mithun Chakraborty had joined the BJP last year ahead of the elections with much fanfare but failed to make enough impact with the electorate to take the BJP anywhere close to the required numbers in spite of his huge popularity in Bengal as a film star. Of late, Mithun Chakraborty has been seen at the BJP office holding meetings.
The Trinamool Congress has dismissed the actor’s comments and said he is not in the right frame of mind. “So many have defected to the TMC and if the doors are kept open, then more BJP legislators will join our party. I don’t want to give any importance to such claims as it is far from reality,” Trinamool MP Santanu Sen said.
Over the past few years, opposition governments have collapsed in states like Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh and the pattern has been similar – rebellion in the ranks and defections to the BJP.