TMC MP joins BJP, slams Mamata Banerjee

Trinamool Congress MP Saumitra Khan joined the BJP on Wednesday, giving a fillip to the saffron party's campaign in West Bengal in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.

Saumitra, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party following a meeting with party president Amit Shah, lashed out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, alleging that there was no democracy, but 'police raj' in the state.

The 38-year-old leader said he, like many other young people, has faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, he added, would bring about a change in the state.

"There is no democracy in the state. People cannot vote. Police raj is there," he told reporters at a press conference in New Delhi.

Saumitra represents the Bishnupur constituency in the Lok Sabha and was earlier a member of the state assembly as well.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan made the announcement of Saumitra joining the party in the presence of Mukul Roy, a former top TMC leader who had defected to the BJP in 2017.