Such ‘poaching’ not designed to strengthen Oppn unity, serves BJP: Cong slams TMC after WB MLA crosses over

New Delhi: A day after its lone MLA in West Bengal joined the TMC, the Congress on Tuesday lashed out at the Mamata Banerjee-led party, saying such “poaching” is not designed to strengthen Opposition unity and only serves the BJP’s objectives.

The Congress lost its lone MLA in the state assembly, Bayron Biswas, as he crossed over to the ruling TMC on Monday, joining the party in the presence of its general secretary Abhishek Banerjee.

In a sharp attack on the TMC, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “Three months after he was elected as a Congress MLA in a historic victory, Bayron Biswas has been lured away by the TMC in West Bengal.” This is a complete betrayal of the mandate of the people of the Sagardighi Assembly constituency, Ramesh said on Twitter.

“Such poaching which has happened earlier in Goa, Meghalaya, Tripura and other states is not designed to strengthen Opposition unity and only serves the BJP’s objectives,” he said.

The crossing over of the Congress’ MLA to TMC and Ramesh’s remarks slamming the Mamata Banrjee-led party assumes significance as these come at a time when efforts are on to forge Opposition unity to take on the BJP in the 2024 general election.

At the function to join the ruling party in Ghatal in Medinipur, Bayron claimed the Congress played no role in his victory, and he won because of “my goodwill”.  Bayron, a local ‘bidi’ magnate, had won the Sagardighi seat earlier this year in a by-election, beating his TMC rival, much to the consternation of the ruling camp.