'Have been waiting for this golden moment': TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi joins BJP ahead of WB assembly polls

New Delhi: Former Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi, who resigned from Rajya Sabha on the floor of the House last month. joined the BJP on Saturday.

The former Union Minister had announced his decision to quit his Rajya Sabha membership deploring "violence" in poll-bound West Bengal during his speech in the House in February.

Trivedi, 70, was once a close confidant of TMC president Banerjee and was her choice for holding the important railway ministry portfolio in the Union Cabinet during the UPA government.

He joined the BJP in the presence of its president JP Nadda, and Union ministers Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan besides other leaders. Lauding Trivedi as a principled politician, Nadda said he was earlier a right person in the wrong party and was now in the right party.

Trivedi said he had been waiting for this "golden moment" and added that family is supreme in some parties but it is people who are supreme in the BJP. He also praised the Modi government for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the issues involving neighbouring countries.

"I'll be active in election process, irrespective of whether I contest or not. Bengal has rejected TMC. They want progress, not corruption or violence. They're ready for real change. Politics isn't 'khela', it's serious. She (CM) forgot her ideals while playing," he was quoted as saying by ANI.

This is one of the most high-profile defection of TMC leaders after Suvendu Adhikari who is challenging Mamata Banerjee from Nandigram in the assembly election.

A number of TMC leaders have quit the party in recent months to join the BJP as the saffron party mounts an aggressive all-out campaign to end Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's 10-year-old reign in the state.

Though his ties with her strained resulting in him being removed from the cabinet, they later patched up. After losing the Lok Sabha election in 2019, he was sent to the Rajya Sabha by the party.

With the BJP being successful in wooing over a number of TMC leaders to its fold, the saffron party has said that this underscores an increasing unease in its rival camp and is a pointer to its "decisive" victory in the assembly polls to be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29.

Meanwhile, yesteryear's Bollywood superstar Mithun Chakraborty is likely to join the BJP during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Kolkata on March 7.

(With inputs from agencies)

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