The return of Parliament member from Barakpur, Arjun Singh, to the Trinamool Congress of the BJP has caused an uproar in political circles. After his ‘homecoming’, Singh spoke exclusively to News18 and attacked the western BJP on a range of issues, while expressing his willingness to take on any role offered to him by the TMC. Edited excerpts:
How are you after this “Gar Wapasi”?
Oh, it feels great. I’ve been with TMC since day one. It was three years of “banbas” (exile) for me after that. A lot of VIPs have called me since yesterday. So it feels great after coming back to my own place.
Is this just above the jute price or something else? Have you been planning to come back for the past few months?
I have shown and got the jute price cap removed. We always suspected strangers, we came from TMC. We were humiliated by the BJP, but we also stayed. Nobody is talking against Delhi but then I also spoke up, I pressed them for jute. Not all demands are met, but I’m still trying. Both things were there. There were problems regarding the jute price and uncertainty. That’s why I left the party and went home. I wasn’t planning on it but the humiliation couldn’t be tolerated. They used to hold separate meetings in the BJP. They never believed us.
You have said many important things about Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee too. How do you feel when you take the flag from his hand? Was there a war of words?
I have seen Abhishek for a long time. I saw him yesterday too and he is very politically mature and the direction in which he wants to take the role is correct. If the party continues on this path, good results will be achieved.
Don’t you think there was a lot of hatred and the old guard wouldn’t get along with you?
Three years ago I said a lot of things but now if anything happens I’ll say it inside the party. There will be no violence. They are all friends and we will be together
What is wrong with BJP Bengal?
BJP Bengal is not informing the national BJP in the right way. They work for themselves, and if anyone fights and in a political struggle if the workers have problems, the party leaders are not on their side. The money sent from Delhi is also misused. There is corruption that ordinary workers are not happy with. If someone from Koch Behar takes care of Barakpur, what will happen? BJP is operated from AC offices. They are on Twitter and Facebook but not on the ground to stand by their people. They have to go to court. They have to go to the people whose houses were burned down. There are only leaders in the BJP; Nobody stands with the people on the ground. I can bring 100 BJP workers who will say the leaders don’t pick up the phone.
He will now replace Suvendu Adhikari. What do you have to say?
All the best. It is well organized. Let’s see if the BJP allows it or not. If the BJP allows it, the competition will be good.
What role will the party give you? Have you spoken to Didi (Mamata)?
Whatever role he gives me, I will take it. Not even 24 hours have passed. Mamata Banerjee held a ministerial session. I’ll go and meet her if she gives me time. If the party gives me a turn to talk to people who want to come to TMC, I will. It’s my old home, and I know all about this party. I won’t have any problems.
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