The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from West Bengal's Kaliaganj Assembly constituency, in the North Dinajpur district, joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Kolkata on Saturday, 4 September.
MLA Soumen Roy is the third BJP MLA to have defected to the TMC this week. He's also the fourth BJP MLA to have jumped ship to the TMC since the results of the West Bengal Assembly elections were announced on 2 May. In the elections, the TMC registered a thumping victory over the BJP, winning 213 seats in the 294-member Assembly. The saffron party managed to secure 77 seats.
"The culture of the BJP is not in sync with the culture of Bengal," said Roy while accepting the TMC flag from senior party leader, Partha Chatterjee.
Earlier in the week, BJP MLAs Tanmoy Ghosh and Biswajit Das from the Bishnupur and Bagda constituencies, respectively, had also shifted to the TMC. Both Ghosh and Das were earlier with the TMC and had defected to the BJP right before the Assembly election.
In June, BJP leader and MLA from the Krishnanagar Uttar constituency, Mukul Roy, had also joined the TMC. He too was earlier with the party and was considered second to party supremo Mamata Banerjee. However, he quit the TMC in 2017 owing to internal differences.
Roy's return has been the TMC's biggest acquisition from the BJP yet as he was also made national vice president of the saffron party before the elections.
The latest defection of Soumen Roy has brought down the BJP's tally of MLAs in the Bengal Assembly to 71. While four MLAs have defected, two of their MLAs – Nisith Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar – who were also MPs, resigned from the legislature to continue with their tenure in Parliament.