The Bharatiya Janata Party in West Bengal is likely to continue with its attempts to poach more number of leaders from the ruling Trinamool Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The 'operation lotus' began two days back with TMC MP Anupam Hazra joining the BJP, and on Thursday, MLA Arjun Singh also embraced the saffron party.
Singh holds considerable clout in Barrackpore of North 24 Parganas and is likely to be made a candidate in the same constituency against Dinesh Trivedi, former railway minister. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's attempts to placate Singh failed two days ago as he wanted to contest from Barrackpore replacing Trivedi.
Sources confirmed to THE WEEK that at least seven senior TMC leaders are camping in Delhi and are in touch with BJP leader Mukul Roy.
Along with Singh, around 47 councillors of civic bodies also joined the BJP on Thursday.
The saffron party is also in talks with Deepa Dasmunshi, a former Congress MP and a staunch Mamata baiter.
Mamata has declared 42 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, but her choice of silver screen actors has not gone down well with several top leaders of the party.
A senior BJP leader said, "A few people who are in her (Mamata's) list of candidates are in touch with us."
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh also admitted that a few senior TMC leaders are in touch with his party.
"The central leadership in Delhi are directly looking into it. Wait for sometime. Her cabinet would be halved by one month," said Ghosh.
The BJP is also looking for popular leaders of the TMC who would win seats in South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore and Hooghly which are strong TMC bastions.