Kolkata: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday said the West Bengal unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has ceased to exist with all its members joining the saffron party.
"The AAP today (Friday) ceased to exist and all its members have decided to formally join our party. The AAP Bengal has merged with our party," state BJP president Rahul Sinha told reporters here.
AAP leader Mehboob Jaffery, who along with several other members joined the BJP, blamed AAP's central leadership for the party becoming defunct in Bengal.
Jaffery said a large number of AAP members have given up their party membership and would be joining the BJP.
However, AAP's national council member Prince Pathak rubbished reports of the party merging with the BJP. "Most of our members are still actively working for the party and only a few of them may have joined BJP," Pathak said.
Besides the AAP members, veteran Congress leader Devaki Nandan Poddar's son Manoj Poddar also joined the BJP.
Sinha said a large number of eminent personalities and leaders from other parties, including state Congress's prominent face Pradip Ghosh, would be joining the BJP.
Earlier, Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Derek O'Brien's brother and country's leading quizmaster Barry O'Brien along with footballer Sasthi Duley and market analyst and actor Siddhartha Chatterjee were inducted into the BJP.