Kolkata:On a day when the Election Commission announced the bypolls in Bhowanipur from where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will seek to get elected to the West Bengal Assembly, the Trinamool Congress received a boost with another BJP MLA Soumen Roy Saturday returns the ruling TMC.
While joining the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata in the presence of state minister and party leader Partha Chatterjee, Roy said he was sorry for having quit the state party two years ago. He is the fourth BJP MLA to have quit the party and joined TMC since the April-May assembly poll.
With his resignation BJP's strength in the 294-member House has reduced to 71.
Roy, who was elected from Kaliaganj on a BJP ticket in the April-May assembly poll added he was not comfortable in the saffron camp and wanted to take part in the development initiatives by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
"Though I had quit TMC my mind and soul had remained with TMC. I do not subscribe to its ideology," he said.
Justifying his return to the party, Roy added that he had to contest from Kaliaganj on a BJP ticket due to some circumstances. I joined the party again to support Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's efforts. I apologise to the party for the time I was not with it."
Chatterjee said "BJP MLA Soumen Roy is returning to our fold as he wants to be part of the development of Bengal specially north Bengal," To a question Roy said he was sorry about leaving TMC with which he had been associated for years.
Reacting to Roy's switching over, state leader of opposition and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari told reporters "Whoever leaves the party it is his decision. But the party will seek their disqualification after asking them to explain their stand."
Two other BJP MLAs joined the Trinamool in the past one week -- Tanmoy Ghosh from Bishnupur in Bankura district and Biswajit Das from Bagda in North 24 Parganas district.
The first BJP MLA to defect to the Trinamool was Mukul Roy, the party's national Vice President who had won the elections from Krishnanagar North.
While Roy had left Trinamool for the saffron camp in 2017, the other three MLAs were in the ruling party before jumping ship to the BJP just before the Assembly elections held in March-April this year.
Ever since the Trinamool swept the polls to retain power in West Bengal, many leaders who had switched to the BJP from the Trinamool camp before the Assembly polls have returned to the party.