Jitendra Tiwari, Trinamool MLA and former Mayor of Asansol, joins BJP on a day when ECI notifies first of eight-phase Assembly election

Published : March 02, 2021 22:08 IST

Jitendra Tiwari, who defected to the BJP from the Trinamool Congress. Photo: KANNAL ACHUTHAN

Even as the Election Commission of India issued the notification for the first phase of West Bengal’s eight-phase Assembly election, yet another defection happened from the Trinamool Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on March 2. Jitendra Tiwari, the influential Trinamool MLA from Pandaveswar and former Mayor of Asansol, finally joined the BJP after his attempt to join the party in December 2020 was foiled by objections raised by BJP workers and leaders. Tiwari was inducted into the party by State BJP president and Lok Sabha MP Dilip Ghosh.

In December 2020, Tiwari was all set to join the BJP and had even resigned from his various posts in the Trinamool. In a stirring farewell speech he had indicated that he would soon return as a BJP member. However, the move came under stiff opposition from senior BJP leaders, particularly Asansol Lok Sabha MP Babul Supriyo, State general secretary Sayantan Basu and BJP Mahila Morcha president Agnimitra Paul. Twari was forced to retract his announcement of quitting his old party. “My decision to quit Trinamool was a wrong one, and I take it back,” he said. However, he could not get back his old position of prestige in the ruling party. The BJP leaders who had raised objection to his joining were also showcaused by the party’s central leadership.

After joining the BJP, Tiwari said, “I always wanted to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ from a stage, and now I have got the opportunity.” Babul Supriyo said, “Jitendra Tewari was one of the most powerful leaders of the Trinamool. Today if he wants to work under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi… then together we can make Asansol opposition-free. There is no point in dwelling on the past.”

The same day the Election Commission of India issued the notification for the first phase of the Assembly election in the State, in which 30 constituencies will go to the polls on March 27. The districts that will vote in the first phase are Purulia, Bankura, Jhargram, parts of Pashchim Medinipur, and parts of Purbo Medinipur. Although the ECI’s notification is out, no political party has announced its list of candidates yet.

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