A day after Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah reached out to a number of rural families in West Bengal's Purulia district as part of his party's 'Jan Sampark Abhiyan', the members of four such families joined the state's ruling All India Trinamool Congress on Friday.
Trinamool leaders, who handed them the party flag in front of the media, claimed the innocent villagers were threatened by Shah to join BJP.
Purulia resident Phuchu Rajbhor, whom Shah met on Thursday, said they are not into politics but feel an affinity towards Trinamool and its supremo Mamata Banerjee. He revealed they have come to Kolkata to seek Trinamool's help after Shah went to their house.
"We have come here on our own because we were scared after his visit. No one has forced us to come here. We know Trinamool Congress and Mamata. We want her 'refuge'," said Rajbhor sitting beside Trinamool leader Madan Mitra at a party office.
Asked whether they were asked by the BJP President to join the saffron party, the youth initially revealed they had no conversation with Shah, but later claimed they were threatened.
Purulia resident Phuchu Rajbhor, whom Amit Shah met on Thursday, said they are not into politics but feel an affinity towards Trinamool and its supremo Mamata Banerjee. He revealed they have come to Kolkata to seek Trinamool’s help after Shah went to their house
Mitra, who accused Shah of trying to mislead the tribal and backward classes in Purulia and thus attempting to foment trouble in the state, handed over the party flags and membership to the families.
"These are poor people who are least bothered about Amit Shah and BJP. People of Bengal have no time for such parties. They felt scared when Shah entered their humble houses and mistook him for a dacoit. So they have come here to take our party's refuge," claimed Mitra, the former Trinamool Congress MLA, who was arrested by the CBI in relation to the Saradha chit fund scam.
"BJP must know that unlike Uttar Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh, they will be challenged every inch in Bengal. Their tactics of fomenting trouble and dividing people will not work here," he said.
The state BJP leadership accused Trinamool Congress of using arm-twisting tactics on the villagers and said such "filthy politics" by the state's ruling party will come back to haunt them.
"Shah went to four or five houses in Purulia but did not pick and choose the house of BJP activists there. They have forced the villagers to come to Kolkata and surrender to their party. But they won't be able to tame the people of Bengal in this manner. People are waiting. They would give them a befitting reply at the appropriate time," BJP National Secretary Rahul Sinha said.