Former BJP leader and union minister Yashwant Sinha who joined Trinamool Congress on Saturday was on Monday appointed as party vice president. He was also made a member of the TMC national working committee.
After joining the TMC, Sinha said the "tipping point" to force him to come back to active party politics was the "attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee" at Nandigram.
Addressing a press conference at TMC Bhawan on Saturday, Sinha said, "This government (BJP) can do anything to win the election. The attack on Mamata Ji made me decide that I want to work with her."
He also said that democracy was in peril in the country, and it was the need of the hour to ensure that TMC won the poll with a thumping majority.
Yashwant Sinha, a former BJP leader and Union finance minister, drifted away from the BJP after the formation of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre. He has been critical of the policies of the Modi government.
Sinha, now 83, quit the BJP in 2018. His son, Jayant Sinha, was a minister in the Modi government till 2019 Lok Sabha election and is a Lok Sabha MP from Hazaribagh, the former constituency of Sinha Senior.
"You must be surprised why at this age when I'd distanced myself from party politics. Why am I joining a party and turning active? I'd like to say the country is going through an extraordinary situation," Yashwant Sinha had said on Saturday after joining the TMC.
Before joining the TMC, Yashwant Sinha had generated waves during the Bihar Assembly election 2020. He had formed a multi-outfit body and campaigned against the BJP-JDU's NDA in Bihar polls.
The tenure of the current (16th) Legislative Assembly of West Bengal ends on May 30. Bengal goes to polls in eight phases beginning March 27. The final phase of voting will take place on April 29. A total of 7.34 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise.
West Bengal has 294 assembly seats, requiring a party or coalition to win 148 seats to attain majority. In 2016, Mamata Banerjee's TMC had won 211 seats. Back then, the Congress-Left coalition was the principal challenger. The alliance had won 77 seats. The BJP, which has emerged as the main rival to Mamata Banerjee's TMC this time around, had won just three seats.
Counting of votes in Bengal will take place on May 2 along with other poll-bound states of Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and the Union Territory of Puducherry.