New Delhi [India], August 14 (ANI): Putting all speculation to rest, Trinamool Congress MLA and former Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee on Wednesday joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Chatterjee, along with Trinamool Congress leader Professor Baisakhi Banerjee, was inducted into the saffron camp here at party headquarters in presence of BJP General Secretary Arun Singh and former union minister Mukul Roy.
"Sovan Chatterjee is a big name in Bengal politics. Impressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policies, he has joined BJP," Roy said welcoming the Trinamool leaders in the BJP.
He claimed that the Trinamool Congress would not win more than 30 seats in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls and it would be a party in opposition.
Chatterjee, once one of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's most trusted lieutenants, slammed her for doing negative politics and hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking several bold steps.
Chatterjee, an MLA from Behala Purba Assembly constituency has held crucial ministries like environment, housing, fire and emergency services in Mamata Banerjee government before resigning from the Trinamool Congress in November 2018. Since then, he had taken a sabbatical from active politics.
He was asked by Trinamool Chief and West Bengal Chief Minister to resign as Kolkata mayor for allegedly devoting too much time on personal affairs and ignoring official responsibilities.
The saffron party won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal in the Lok Sabha polls which was only four less than the Trinamool Congress's 22.
Since the Lok Sabha polls, several Trinamool MLAs including Biswajit Das Tusharkanti Bhattacharya, Monirul Islam and Sunil Singh have joined the BJP. Trinamool has since then also lost control over five civic bodies of Bhatpara, Halisahar, Kanchrapara, Naihati and Garulia.
Election to the 294-member state assembly is scheduled to be held in 2021. (ANI)