Kolkata: Defection is an age-old practice in Indian politics or if we look beyond, defectors have hogged the limelight all over the world.
In some instances, there are valid reasons why a leader jumps ship even at the cost of being labelled a turncoat, but meticulously speaking, personal ambitions are a pivotal reason behind people shifting loyalty.
The latest trigger is former TMC minister-turned-BJP leader Rajib Bandyopadhyay’s (pic above) half-an-hour meeting with TMC National General Secretary, Abhishek Bandopadhyay on Friday. It is no surprise that Rajib seems to have realised his ‘cardinal sin’ of deserting his erstwhile party in favour of BJP before the state polls in search of ‘greener pastures’.
By greener pastures, we mean a ministerial chair with the foregone conclusion that the saffron party would oust West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee from the citadel of power and form the government. But the voters have poured water onto his plans as the BJP couldn’t even manage to bag 100 seats much to the chagrin of the high command. And now, it’s time for a rethink.
Honestly speaking, to single Rajib out would be gross injustice as he is not the only one in the fray. Since the poll results, a number of TMC deserters have been sending feelers to Didi and ilk to forgive and forget. But would our CM, who now nurses national ambitions be generous enough to accept them back?
BJP committed a blunder by orchestrating decamping and fissures within the TMC before the elections but that effort has come a cropper and there are committed leaders who are left sulking because of being marginalised with the top brass preferring the influx from TMC to be at the forefront. With that strategy biting the dust, the state BJP leaders have the arduous task of pacifying the aggrieved lot.
Honestly speaking, Rajib’s homecoming may not be smooth with several senior leaders in TMC vehemently opposed to the idea. Leaving the party in the lurch at an opportune moment didn’t go down well with them. But in TMC all bucks stop at Kalighat, the residence of the chief minister. She takes the final call, but she also needs to heed the views of her trusted lieutenants before the final decision.
Trust once belied is difficult to restore, Banerjee who can ill afford to ruffle feathers at this point of time, should be extra vigilant, now that she has a larger goal in mind. BJP burnt its fingers, Banerjee cannot be on the same boat and it is not Rajib but the whole lot of others whose ‘good sense’ seems to have made a comeback.