New Delhi, Mar 14 : The BJP headquarters gave a look of a triumphant mood on Thursday. Besides winner over Bhatpara MLA and a Trinamool strongman Arjun Singh, the saffron party's icing on the cake came in the form of Tom Vadakkan.
Onetime close aide of Sonia Gandhi - Mr Vadakkan also joined BJP while lashing out at Congress party for its dynastic politics and also the policy statement of the party post-Pulwama attack. But amid the hectic schedule, Mr Arjun Singh gave a look of a calm man but with 'single mindedness' to take the battle to the Mamata Banerjee camp in West Bengal.
BJP has set a target of 22 plus in the state which sends 42 MPs - third large chunk in the country after 80 in Uttar Pradesh and 48 in Maharashtra. Standing next to Mukul Roy, another former Trinamool leader and now Amit Shah's point man in Bengal, Arjun Singh was emphatic - "I am ready to be real Arjun and play the game when Mukul da is my Krishna around".
This simple oneliner actually sums up the game of BJP in West Bengal - where the party has always faced the weaknesses at organisational level and also absence of prominent faces to fight the elections.
Mukul Roy, an able hand in organisational matter, is now proving a boon to the BJP and Amit Shah's scheme of things. "Everything is happening according to plans," confirmed a senior party strategist.
Kailash Vijarvargiya, BJP general secretary in charge of Bengal, also remained forthright and candid. "....there will be more such incoming. It is neither comma nor full stop. Many more Bengal leaders will join BJP," he said. Indications of several Trinamool MPs, MLAs and organisational leaders were given by BJP in last two months.
"We had an hesitation.....Mamata Banerjee started abusing police. So, now that code of conduct has come into effect, leaders are gradually coming out," said a central BJP leader. This remark was quickly endorsed by Arjun Singh, who joined BJP on Thursday. Even Arjun Singh faces a few cases, BJP sources confirmed.
"Mamata Banerjee government is actually surviving on police strength...She has lost control. But at the end of the day, police raj will fail. People will come out and have started coming out," Mr Singh told UNI.
"We came to power in 2011 by raising our slogan Ma, Mati, Manush. But today in Trinamool, it is only money, money and money," he said of his former party - breaking 30 years of long association.
Mr Singh, who is expected to take on sitting Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi from Barrackpore, said, "The local people hardly know Dinesh Trivedi".
"He has no local people with him....yes, he could be more handsome than me. But he is a leader of a different stature at least for Barrackpore. He would use some sanitiser every time he shakes hands with a commoner," said Mr Singh.
Over the past few weeks, Arjun Singh’s supporters have been campaigning aggressively in the Barrackpore, Bhatpara and and Naihati areas in Bengal demanding Lok Sabha poll ticket for him.
However, in the list of 42 candidates announced by Trinamool Congress chief, Dinesh Trivedi's name figured.
In fact, several BJP leaders in Delhi have indicated that Mamata Banerjee's list has created major rift in the Trinamool camp and this will work to BJP's advantage.
Sources said the saffron party is already in touch with rebel Trinamool leaders from Balurghat - from where party has again fielded sitting member Arpita Ghosh.
Political observers say Mamata Banerjee herself has gauged this mood well and so she did not mind telling, "I don't care if some of these ambitious people leave my party".
In Bengal, the battle for Mission 2019 has just begun. UNI