In a further jolt to West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on the party's 23rd 'Foundation Day', party leader Soumendu Adhikari, the brother of rebel leader Suvendu Adhikari, also joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday, toeing similar political lines and ambitions as his brother.
Soumendu Adhikari, the former chairperson of the Contai Municipality and brother of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, has officially joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), agencies confirmed on this day.
Soumendu had on Thursday said lotus will bloom in every home, hinting that he would join the saffron party, following in his brother's footsteps.
The Adhikari household has two other members in the TMC camp -- MPs Dibyendu and Sisir.
Soumendu joined the BJP at the saffron party's 'Yogdaan Mela' at the Contai Dormitory ground today, where Suvendu Adhikari was also present.
At the event, Suvendu promised that a new government will be formed, that will "move forward with Narendra Modi's ideology".
"We will win this battle. A new government will be formed that will move forward with Narendra Modi's ideology and promise to make the state 'Sonar Bangla'" said BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.
Earlier in the day, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari had said that his disgruntled brother and erstwhile TMC leader Soumendu -- recently removed from the post of administrator at Contai Municipality -- will join the saffron camp along with a host of other activists from the state's ruling party.
Asserting that the TMC, of which he was a part till about a month ago, will "disintegrate" soon, Adhikari, during a meeting in Purba Medinipur, had claimed that Soumendu, together with a few councillors and 5,000 TMC workers, will switch over to the saffron party later in the day.
Contending that at least one lakh people will attend his rally in Nandigram on January 8, Adhikari told his supporters, "If any of you face blockade on the way to the meeting, just give me a call."
"TMC miscreants had carried out an attack on pilgrims when they were en route to a religious programme on December 29. Their vehicle carried flags of Sanatan Hindu Dharma organisation. The attackers will be taught a befitting lesson," the newly inducted BJP leader stated.
Talking about CBI raids on Thursday at two Kolkata residences of businessman Binay Mishra, reportedly close to the TMC, in connection with cattle smuggling along India- Bangladesh border, and the arrest of alleged kingpin Enamul Haque in November, Adhikari said, "The agency would soon knock the doors of a heavyweight involved in the case. Just wait..."
The BJP leader, following his rally, told reporters that he will ensure that the saffron party takes lead in all assembly segments in Purba Medinipur.
(With inputs from agencies)