Join BJP: Amit Shah proposes, CPI(M) woman MP Jharna Das disposes

Das had gone to meet the Union home minister to discuss the deteriorating law and order situation in Tripura. But, Amit Shah surprised her with an offer to join BJP

Tripura MP Jharna Das Baidya
Tripura MP Jharna Das Baidya

Ashlin Mathew

It is increasingly becoming clear that BJP is hoping for an Opposition-mukt Bharat. Karnataka is one step in that direction, but there are several others whom the BJP would like in their fold. This time home minister Amit Shah decided to convince the CPI(M) MP from Tripura to join their party, who rebuffed his attempts.

On July 16, Tripura’s lone Rajya Sabha MP Jharna Das Baidya had gone to meet Amit Shah in his office in Parliament to speak about the violence in the state in the run-up to Panchayat elections in her state. She had in fact gone to discuss the issue of a woman whose husband was killed because she had decided to contest the Panchayat elections.

Her appointment was fixed for 5 pm but it got delayed till 7 pm and she was waiting outside the chamber of the Home Minister. “I had gone to submit a memorandum on the violence in Tripura.”

When she had gone to speak to him, Shah allegedly stated that she should quit CPI(M) as the Left was finished in the country. He again repeated himself to a shocked Baidya. “Amit Shah said “When I submitted the memorandum, he said why are you in that party? You join us (BJP). I said I had come to meet the Home Minister of India and not the BJP president, but it didn’t seem to matter,” asserted Baidya.

“I don’t know if he was joking. I told him that I was a member of CPI(M) and told him that even if the party has just one member, we would fight the BJP,” explained Baidya, whose term ends in 2022.

This is not the first time BJP has attempted to poach Rajya Sabha MPs. In June, four TDP MPs had joined BJP. Soon after, Ram Kumar Kashyap, sitting INLD MP in Rajya Sabha, had switched to BJP. A few days ago, former Samajwadi Party (SP) Rajya Sabha member Neeraj Shekhar officially joined the saffron party.

Currently, BJP has 78 members in 245-member House, which has five vacancies and NDA has 115 MPs. The saffron party has been attempting to ensure majority of its own. BJP has been attempting to cross the majority mark of 123 in Rajya Sabha without the support of its allies as soon as it can. BJD, which has 7 MPs, and YSR, which has 2 MPs, are known to be friendly towards BJP.

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