In an incident that has exposed the disillusionment of BJP’s own leaders in the party, BJP MLA from Tripura Ashish Das on Tuesday got his head tonsured as a sign of penance for the “misdeeds” of the state government, ahead of his speculated induction into the Trinamool Congress.
Das, an MLA from the Surma constituency of Tripura, also performed a yagya in the Kalighat Temple of Kolkata, close to the residence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, after taking a dip in the Adi Ganga.
Das, who had been quite critical of the Deb government in Tripura for the past two years, also announced his decision to leave the party owing to politics of “political anarchy and chaos” in Tripura.
“Today I have tonsured my head as a penance of the misrule of the BJP government. I have decided to leave the party and time will decide my next step. But the type of anarchy and misrule Tripura has witnessed under the BJP-led regime has moved me and therefore for the past two years, I have been a critic of all these wrong deeds and I have been working for the people beyond the party and politics,” he was quoted as saying.
“The problem in Tripura arises not because of Biplab Deb alone. BJP’s national leaders keep visiting states in the north-east but they have done nothing to solve problems people face in this region,” he said.
Speculation is rife that Das may join the Trinamool Congress, just in time for the Tripura assembly elections in early 2023. He reportedly has been in touch with the party for a long time.
While slamming the BJP government, Das has also been liberal in his praises for Banerjee and has even recommended her as a candidate for the Prime Minister’s post.
In his interaction with the media, Das also took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for privatising government enterprises.
“Once Modi’s messages stirred and touched the minds of people from all sections across the country. Modi had once said ‘na khaunga, na khane dunga.’ But now it has become a popular jumla in the country,” he said.
“I will keep my head shaved till the BJP government is ousted in 2023. Today, I took a dip in the Ganga and offered prayers at the Kalighat temple because joining the BJP was a crime,” he said.
The BJP reportedly plans to take disciplinary action against the MLA for his act of open rebellion.
Das’ theatrical protest comes at a time when the Trinamool Congress is trying to make inroads into the neighbouring Tripura in line with Banerjee’s plans to give her party a pan-India presence. Also, during a recent visit to the state, Banerjee’s nephew and TMC’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee claimed that the party will seize power from the BJP control in the next assembly polls.