Kolkata | Jagran News Desk: In a huge setback for the Trinamool Congress (TMC) ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal next year, rebel party leaders Sunil Mondal and Suvendu Adhikari joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Midnapore.

Apart from Adhikari and Mondal, TMC's Banasree Maity, Biswajit Kundu, Saikat Panja, Shilbhadra Datta, Sukra Munda, Dipali Biswas and Congress' Sudip Mukherjee and Tapasi Mondal and Ashok Dinda from Left parties also joined the BJP in presence of Shah.

Adhikari, who also addressed the gathering in Midnapore, called Amit Shah his 'elder brother' and said that he was 'humiliated' by the TMC. Stressing that he can't stay where his self-respect is compromised, Adhikari said that the TMC won't be able to return to the power in West Bengal and BJP will win the upcoming elections in the state.

"PM Modi has shown that he can fulfill promises. He has shown his might in UP. I have got a lot of love and respect from BJP as compared to what I have got in TMC. BJP leaders have done more for me than TMC has. I will fulfill all the wishes of bengal and its people," he was quoted by News18 as saying.

"My association with Amit Shah dates back many years... But he never asked me to join his party. When I was down with Covid, no one from TMC enquired about me... Amit Shah called me twice," he added.

Meanwhile, Amit Shah, Mukul Roy and Debasree Choudhuri welcomed the rebel leaders, asserting confidence that the saffron party will win the upcoming assembly elections in West Bengal with more than 200 seats.

"I welcome Suvendu in the BJP. He has been my long-time party colleague. People of Bengal want to listen to him. BJP will get a new political dimension in Bengal if Suvendu joins the saffron brigade," said Mukul Roy at the rally.

Adhikari and Mondal's decision to join the BJP is a huge setback for the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC ahead of the Assembly Elections in the state next year. Adhikari had formally tendered his resignation to Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday when he had also resigned from the state Legislative Assembly. After his resignation from the TMC, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had decided to provide 'Z' category security to the rebel leader.

"I am writing to tender my resignation as a member of All India Trinamool Congress as well as from all other positions held by me in the party and its associate organs with immediate effect. I am thankful for all the challenges and opportunities that have been given to me and I will always value my time spent as a member of the party," Adhikari said in his resignation letter to Mamata Banerjee.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma