India / Tripura BJP MLA tonsures head, performs havan ahead of joining TMC

Zoom News : Oct 06, 2021, 08:17 AM
KOLKATA: Ashish Das, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Tripura who has been in touch with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) for months, on Tuesday shaved his head, took a dip in the Ganga and offered prayers at a temple close to chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s home, saying he was performing an act of penance before joining West Bengal’s ruling party.

Ashish Das, who has repeatedly criticised Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb, arrived in Kolkata more than a week ago, TMC leaders said. He represents the Surma constituency.

The TMC is trying to make inroads in Tripura and its leaders, including national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, have been lately visiting the state. The young TMC Lok Sabha MP has announced that his party will oust the BJP government in the 2023 assembly polls.

In Kolkata, Ashish Das told reporters that he, like many others back in Tripura, had put his faith in the BJP to end the “misrule of the Left Front government” led by Manik Sarkar. But it was a mistake, he said.

“I will keep my head shaved till the BJP government is ousted in 2023. Today, I took a dip in the Ganga and offered prayers at the Kalighat temple because joining the BJP was a crime,” said Das. He shaved his head and performed puja after taking a dip in the Adi Ganga, an old distributary of the Hooghly river.

“The problem in Tripura arises not because of Biplab Deb alone. BJP’s national leaders keep visiting states in the north-east but they have done nothing to solve problems people face in this region,” Das added.

Das had a meeting with Abhishek Banerjee on Tuesday afternoon and he is likely to join the TMC on Wednesday, TMC leaders in Kolkata said.

Tripura TMC leader Ashish Lal Singh said Ashish Das would join the TMC on Wednesday.

BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh promptly took a dig at Ashish Das. “We will see how he goes through his penance in the TMC,” he said.

Like Dakshineswar, the Kalighat temple is among the most famous temples of Kali and top BJP leaders, including Union home minister Amit Shah, offered prayers there before the March-April assembly polls. Shah’s wife visited Kalighat as well.