West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress on Wednesday expelled two of its MPs for their alleged involvement in various controversies and anti-party activities, a senior party leader said.
Among the two expelled leaders, Saumitra Khan, the MP from Bankura district's Bishnupur Lok Sabha constituency, joined the BJP earlier in the day. The other leader Anupam Hazra represents Birbhum district's Bolpur constituency.
"Saumitra Khan got involved in several controversies in the last one year. He did not have any connection with the party. We have repeatedly cautioned him and gave him a lot of time but things did not change. So he has been removed from the party," said Trinamool Congress Secretary General Partha Chatterjee.
"On the other hand, Anupam Hazra is involved in more heinous activities. He has made a number of controversial statements on the social media and done certain things which are not in line with party's culture. He has also been expelled," he said.
Khan, who was inducted into the saffron party in New Delhi in the afternoon following his meeting with BJP President Amit Shah, claimed he left the Trinamool as there is no democracy in Bengal.
Taking a swipe at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her nephew and party MP Abhishek Banerjee, Khan said it is not possible that only a certain family from south Kolkata will reign in Bengal.
"There is no democracy in Bengal. I have repeatedly told the party that we should respect common people but that did not happen. Election is going on in the entire country, but not a single blast took place anywhere (outside Bengal). They (Trinamool) are snatching away people's voting rights and giving away the funds received from the Central government. West Bengal cannot be run this way," he said.
"Who is Abhishek Banerjee to decide whether I would get the ticket in 2019 elections from the party? I am a people's representative. People will decide if I am eligible or not. A single family from south Kolkata should not be allowed to rule Bengal," he added.
The other expelled Trinamool MP, Anupam Hazra, claimed that his name never featured in either the Saradha ponzy scam or the Narada sting operation, where a number of fellow party leaders were allegedly involved and questioned the party's definition of anti-party activities.
"I want to ask Partha Chatterjee what is his definition of anti-party activity? I was neither involved in Saradha or Narada cases nor did I misuse the name of party supremo Mamata Banerjee to take undue advantages or extort money from anywhere," Hazra said.
"The only objection against me was that I was very active on Facebook but I have deleted my Facebook account one year back because of the party's objection. So I want to know what he meant by anti-party activities," he added.
Referring to the removal of the two MPs from the party, Trinamool's virtual second-in-command Abhishek Banerjee said the party will have no problems in winning all 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal without them in 2019.
"It (their removal) is a party decision. It does not matter who the candidate would be. Whoever the party chooses, will have no problems in winning if Mamata Banerjee's blessings are with him. We are ready. Even if the election is held tomorrow, I can assure you that we will make it 42 out of 42 seats in 2019," he claimed.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)