The Trinamool Congress leadership on Wednesday, May 29 shrugged off party MLAs joining the BJP, saying it "doesn't matter" if some "opportunist" legislators switch loyalties.
The TMC also claimed that some among those who had joined the saffron party had been threatened to do so.
"It doesn't matter if one or two opportunist MLAs switchover to the BJP. Some are opportunist and some are being forced to join by using threat and intimidation," senior TMC leader Tapas Roy said.
Roy's comment came after TMC MLA Monirul Islam joined the BJP earlier on Wednesday, the third legislator to desert the ruling party in West Bengal after the reverses in the Lok Sabha polls.
Two TMC legislators, including BJP leader Mukul Roy's son Subhrangshu Roy, and over 50 councillors, had joined the saffron party on Tuesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Mamata Banerjee-led party had claimed in a tweet that its MLAs and councillors were forced at gunpoint to join the BJP, which, in a stunning result, won 18 Lok Sabha seats in the state, only four less than the TMC's 22.
"One suspended MLA of Trinamool joined BJP yesterday. The others were from Congress and CPI(M). The number of councillors is 6. That too they were forced at gunpoint to do so," the TMC said.
Republic World brings you comprehensive election news coverage and phase-by-phase election updates of the Indian General Elections 2019. The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23. Get all the latest election news, highlights, controversies, polls, live updates and results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, only on Republic World.