Has Mamata Banerjee Mortgaged TMC to Prashant Kishore and Team: BJP Leader Kailash Vijayvargiya

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Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya on Saturday launched a scathing attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, wondering whether she had lost self confidence and “mortgaged” her party, the Trinamool Congress, to poll strategist Prashant Kishore and his team. He said the old guards of TMC are deserting it, as are the people of the state.

“No self-respecting person can remain in TMC now, because its reins have now gone into the hands of ‘bhaipo’ (Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek),” Vijavargiya said. “I want to ask Mamata Banerjee whether she has lost her self-confidence and mortgaged the party to the PK (Prashant Kishore) company,” he said at a rally in Ramnagar in East Midnapore.

Kishor’s organisation Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) has been appointed by the ruling party in West Bengal to prepare its strategy for the 2021 assembly polls. Earlier this week, TMC MLA from Coochbehar South constituency, Mihir Goswami, had also claimed through a social media post that the reins of the party are not in the hands of Banerjee anymore.

Vijayvargiya alleged that the Rs 1,000-crore assistance from Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his visit to the Amphan-affected areas in West Bengal was not accounted for by the state government. “No one knows how the money was spent or where it went,” the BJP national general secretary said.

Denying the allegation, West Bengal Urban and Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim said there is no “Rafale or Nirav Modi” in the state, and Banerjee heads a transparent government. Earlier in the day, BJP MP Arjun Singh had claimed at least five TMC MPs are keen to switch over to the saffron party, while calling upon Suvendu Adhikari, who has been voicing displeasure with the TMC leadership, to also join.

“He (Adhikari) is being subjected to insults within the party just as I was heckled at one time,” Singh, a former TMC MLA who switched over to the BJP before the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, said. He further said that Saugata Roy, TMC MP from Dumdum constituency, was also not averse to be a part of the saffron party.

Roy, however, denied the claim, contending that he would “rather die than join the BJP”. “I am in the TMC and will remain so,” he said.

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