“No one is above law. As leader of the opposition I will see to it that the anti-defection law is enforced in Bengal. It may take two to three months, but I will make it happen,” Adhikari said after a meeting of BJP’s Ghatal organizational committee on Saturday.
Saying he had no problem if a person switched parties, Adhikari added: “Take my case. I gave up all posts and resigned as MLA before taking BJP’s primary membership. No one will oppose him if he does that. But this practice in Bengal has to end. I had a discussion with Union law minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on this.”
But BJP representatives in Krishnanagar North are a divided lot. While BJP Ranaghat MP Jagannath Sarkar asserted that Mukul’s exit wouldn’t have any effect on the organization, the party’s Krishnanagar North organization committee leader Asit Das blamed the present leadership under Dilip Ghosh for the poll debacle and desertion by heavyweights.
“Mukul played an important role in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and gave BJP the results. But this time, Dilip Ghosh spoilt the favourable situation by making irresponsible comments. I am not going to abide by Ghosh’s diktat,” said Asit.
The situation was similar in North 24 Parganas where Mukul had organized majority councillors in municipalities to defect to BJP. At least three BJP MLAs — Subrata Thakur from Bongaon North, Ashok Kirtaniya from Gaighata and Biswajit Das from Bagda — from the Matua belt gave a miss to Ghosh’s organizational meeting at Bongaon-Chakdah on Friday. BJP MP Shantanu Thakur was also absent in the meeting.
Biswajit put it bluntly, saying: “I didn’t attend the meeting because it was held at a local businessman’s house. I know the person. He is allegedly into shady deals.” Das has an excellent rapport with Mukul. “I do not deny that. I also have good relations with Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee. But they are all at a personal level,” the BJP MLA said.
BJP Noapara candidate and TMC-turned-BJP leader Sunil Singh sounded soft on Mukul, unlike Singh’s relative and Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh. “Mukul is a political heavyweight. It was he who brought me to TMC from Congress in 2009,” Sunil said.