Kolkata: The political rivalry between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP in West Bengal took on a personal note Monday as it brought an MP and his wife on the warpath. Minutes after BJP MP Saumitra Khan’s wife Sujata Mondal Khan defected to the Trinamool Congress Monday, the former vowed to send divorce papers her way within 48 hours.
At a press conference, Bishnupur MP Khan expressed surprise over his wife’s decision and said she is “well aware of the misdeeds of the Trinamool Congress”, adding that she had suffered at the hands of the party after he joined the BJP in 2019. He was earlier a member of the Trinamool Congress.
Khan, who is also president of the West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, accused the Trinamool Congress of “ending his relationship” and “stealing his wife”.
Addressing his wife, he said, “I know you made many sacrifices. You lost your job for (Trinamool Congress chief) Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek (Mamata’s nephew and Trinamool MP). I quietly used to transfer half my salary to your account, so that you do not feel empty. We fought on certain issues like all husbands and wives do, but trust me, I never looked at any other woman in the past 10 years.” The MP appeared to be struggling to hold back tears.
Khan said he would continue his fight against the Trinamool Congress and vowed to remove the party from power in the 2021 assembly elections.
Meanwhile, as she joined the Trinamool Congress at the party headquarters in Kolkata, Sujata said a “Dalit woman like me” did not get the “respect and recognition I deserve” in the BJP.
She added that she hoped good sense prevailed on her husband and he “returns to the Trinamool Congress soon”.
‘BJP a guardian-less party’
According to Sujata, she and her husband faced a lot of trouble when he joined the BJP last January. “I lost my job. My parents’ house and my house were ransacked. The electricity connection was also disconnected. Everyday, when I used to go for BJP rallies, I feared for my life. But I fought,” she said.
However, she added that this was the doing of “some miscreants”, and, unlike Khan, didn’t place the blame at the door of the Trinamool Congress.
“They (BJP) do not have a face to fight against Didi. There are at least six contenders for the chief minister’s post and 13 contenders for deputy chief minister’s post. This is a guardian-less party. I would rather work with diligence under the guidance of Didi and Abhishek Banerjee,” she added.
“I was a BJP worker when the party had two MPs, now there are 18 MPs. Now, there are many opportunists who are joining the BJP,” she said.