Kolkata: Just two days before the crucial bypoll to the Dhupguri Assembly seat in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district, the ruling Trinamool Congress received a jolt as the party's former MLA from the same constituency shifted her camp to the BJP on Sunday.
Mitali Roy, the former party MLA from Dhupguri from 2016 to 2021, also contested on behalf of the ruling party in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections from the same constituency. However in 2021 she was defeated by BJP's Bishnu Pada Roy, who died recently necessitating the bypoll.
Party insiders said that she was expecting a re-nomination for the September 5 bypoll. But the ruling party instead of re-nominating her, fielded Nirmal Chandra Roy, a professor at the Dhupguri Girls College, for the seat.
Giving her reaction to media persons immediately after joining BJP, Roy said that she was virtually isolated within Trinamool Congress since her defeat in the 2021 polls. “BJP leadership has accepted me in the party with the due respect that I deserve and hence now I want to work for the common people of Dhupguri,” she said.
Welcoming her to the party, the state BJP president and the party Lok Sabha member Sukanta Majumdar said that despite being an active and popular face in Dhupguri, Mitali Roy was not able to work for the people while staying in Trinamool Congress. “We welcome her to the party. She will now be of great help in strengthening our organisational network not just in Dhupguri but in the entire Jalpaiguri district,” he said.
The chief of BJP’s Information Technology cell and the party’s special observer for West Bengal Amit Malviya also issued an X (formerly Twitter) message welcoming Roy in the party.
“In another sure sign, that Mamata Banerjee is losing control, Mitali Roy, former TMC MLA from Dhupguri, who also contested the 2021 Assembly election, on TMC’s ticket, joins the BJP, ahead of the by-poll. There is a reason Mamata Banerjee is not being taken seriously in the Opposition alliance. The political ground in her home state has slipped…” his message read.
However, Trinamool Congress’ state vice-president Jaiprakash Majumdar did not give much importance to the development. “Mitali Roy joined BJP just to fulfil her political ambitions. This will not affect us anyway,” he said.