Former TMC minister joins BJP, boosting saffron party’s expansion drive in WB

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NEW DELHI: A former minister in the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal joined the BJP today, boosting the saffron party’s impending expansion drive to strengthen its position in the state ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Former WB minister in TMC government, Humayun Kabir, joined the saffron party a day before BJP president Amit Shah is to hold a rally in the state on Wednesday to launch his party’s expansion drive.
Kabir hails from Murshidabad district and has been in the Congress after he was expelled by the TMC in 2015 for his alleged anti-party activities.
Kabir claimed the people in the eastern state are looking for an alternative to Mamata Banerjee-led TMC and see the BJP as the most credible one.
BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is in charge of the state, said Kabir’s joining would strengthen the party and more leaders from different parties would join it in the run up to the elections.
Shah has been looking at West Bengal as one of the states where his party can improve on its tally and has set a target of winning more than 21 seats out of the total 42 Lok Sabha constituencies. It had won only two seats in 2014.
With the Congress and the Left, the two traditional rivals of the TMC, being seen by many as having weakened in the last few years, the BJP has emerged as the closest rival to the TMC in several by-polls and local elections, including the recent panchayat polls.
Shah is scheduled to address a rally in Purulia on Wednesday during his two-day visit to the state during which he is expected to take stock of his party’s organisational work and hold a number of meetings.
Mukul Roy, a key BJP leader in the state, claimed that thousands of workers from various opposition parties will join his party in a function at Dakshin Dinajpur in the state. The TMC has maintained its dominant position in the state through several elections, leaving its rivals far behind.