Ex-Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi joins BJP, calls it ‘golden moment’

Welcoming Trivedi to the party, Nadda said the Bengal leader now belongs to the right party. "Former TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi was a right person in a wrong party, now he is in the right party," Nadda said.

Trinamool Congress MP, who dramatically quit Rajya Sabha last month, claiming he was feeling “suffocated” over “violence in the state”, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in presence of party’s national president J P Nadda and Union Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi on Saturday.

Welcoming Trivedi to the party, Nadda said the Bengal leader now belongs to the right party. “Former TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi was a right person in a wrong party, now he is in the right party,” Nadda said.

Trivedi, meanwhile, called his joining BJP a “golden moment I had been waiting for”.

On February 12, the former Union Minister for Railways was speaking during the debate on the Budget when he made the announcement of quitting TMC. Asserting that listening to the speakers, he had started reflecting and decided to act as per his conscience, Trivedi said, “Why do we come into politics? We come into politics for the country. The time had come to decide “if the country is bigger, your side is bigger or you yourself are bigger”.

During his speech, Trivedi, who has been with the Trinamool since 1998 and was into just the first year of his six-year term in the Rajya Sabha, also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, talking about both the government’s Covid efforts and Modi’s tearful farewell to Congress Rajya Sabha MP Ghulam Nabi Azad, who retired on February 15.

Referring to West Bengal during his announcement, Trivedi had said “the way there is violence in my state”, he felt strange sitting in the Rajya Sabha. “If you are in a party, you are (bound by) that party discipline. I am grateful to my party that they have sent me here, but now I feel some suffocation. That we are not able to do anything and atrocities are happening,” he said, adding that while he was quitting the Rajya Sabha, he would continue to work for Bengal and the country.

The Trinamool, however, hit out at Trivedi, calling his resignation a “betrayal”. Party Rajya Sabha deputy leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said, “For so many years, he did not say anything. Now all of a sudden, and just months before the state Assembly polls, he has complaints. This shows his true colours. He is ungrateful and has betrayed the trust of the masses.”

Hitting out at Trivedi, Trinamool Lok Sabha MP Sougata Roy had said, “People like him enjoy power and leave at the time of elections.”

The TMC also demanded an investigation into how Trivedi was allowed to speak in the Upper House during a Budget discussion on Friday despite the party not recommending his name. The party alleged that Trivedi took the “House for a ride” and was “allowed” to use the floor of the House for his “devious political ends”. The Mamata Banerjee-led party claimed Trivedi spoke on its behalf, consuming the time allotted to it.

Earlier in the Congress and Janata Party, Trivedi had joined the Trinamool when it was formed by Mamata in 1998, and was one of its first general secretaries. A two-term Lok Sabha MP, Trivedi has had public differences with the Trinamool leadership earlier too, resigning as Railway Minister in 2012 over disagreements on policy with Mamata, after which he was suspended from the party before being reinstated. He has also served as Union Minister for State for Health and Family Welfare.

Trivedi had been picked by the Trinamool for a Rajya Sabha seat in March 2020, after he lost from Barrackpore in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

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