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Former Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi today joined the BJP, the latest in a long list of such defections over the past many months. The 70-year-old’s change of course comes merely weeks ahead of the West Bengal Assembly polls, the run-up to which is already seeing a bitter battle of attrition between the two political parties.

“This was the golden moment I had been waiting for,” Mr. Trivedi said today after joining the BJP at party headquarters in New Delhi in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal.

He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said Bengal is capable. “There is violence, corruption, and terror in Bengal. Bengal is a land of culture. Bengal is a pride of us and we imagine Sonar Bangla. Today people of Bengal are happy for a real transformation,” he said.

Welcoming him, BJP chief JP Nadda said he was “right person in the wrong party. Now he is in the right party”.

“Trivedi has long experience in politics. He has undertaken an ideological journey and fought for ideologies keeping power apart. He is like flowing water and it is only BJP that can amalgamate people of different ideologies,” Mr. Nadda said.

Mr. Trivedi resigned his Rajya Sabha and Trinamool membership on February 12, saying he felt “suffocated” because of the violence in West Bengal and his inability to do anything about it. The party had sent him to the Upper House after he lost the Lok Sabha election in 2019.

“In Bengal, we talk about icons and their ideals but what we see is contrary. The (TMC) model of violence and corruption is not what Bengal stands for. This model will take Bengal to dark days. The state has so much potential and we can’t just let it go waste,” Mr. Trivedi.

A number of sitting and former Trinamool members have in recent weeks swarmed towards the BJP. The party’s former Rajya Sabha MP, actor Mithun Chakraborty is expected to share the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow at a Kolkata rally. Whether he will join the party or campaign for it is still unclear though.

Among those who have moved from the Trinamool to the BJP are sitting MPs, state ministers, MLAs, top and leaders besides hoardes of grass root workers. This includes Trinamool stalwarts such as Suvendu Adhikari and Rajib Banerjee.