Adhikari — who joined the BJP last December — had gained prominence in the party initially by convincing a large number of leaders to follow him and then by his victory against Mamata Banerjee from Nandigram in a closely fought election.
After the election, he was named the leader of opposition and in a departure from norm, was even invited to a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee at a cyclone review meet last month.
Sources have said several MLAs are upset and some are indeed in touch with the Trinamool, hoping to return following the footsteps of Mukul Roy.
Last week, Roy — the first key Trinamool leader to join the BJP — returned to the ruling party. Several other leaders, including Rajib Banerjee, Dipendu Biswas and Subhrangshu Roy, are expected to follow suit.
Chief Minster Mamata Banerjee has said her party will “consider the case of those who had left TMC with Mukul for BJP and want to come back”. Her party said more than 30 MLAs have been in touch with them.
Before Roy, leaders like Sonali Guha and Dipendu Biswas had openly said that they wished to return to the party and sought the Chief Minister’s forgiveness.
The BJP has been maintaining that all is well. But Suvendu Adhikari said they will seek to invoke the anti-defection law against those headed back to the Trinamool.
Asked about his father who defected from Trinamool to the BJP, Suvendu Adhikari said he would only speak about the MLAs.
Along with senior leaders, even party workers now say they wish to return to the Trinamool.
A video from Bengal’s Birbhum shows BJP workers sitting on dharna outside the Trinamool office seeking to return to the party. The workers are seen holding placards and are heard apologizing to Mamata Banerjee and appealing to her to take them.
With inputs from NDTV