KOLKATA: Facing criticism from BJP leaders for meeting TMC leader, the saffron party's candidate from Jadavpur seat Anupam Hazra on Tuesday said that his meeting with TMC leader Anubrata Mondal was a courtesy visit and media should not politicise the matter.
It is to be noted that Hazra had joined the BJP from Trinamool Congress in March. Hazra's decision to meet Mondal sparked speculations that he may return to TMC in future.
Hazra met Mondal, TMC's Birbhum district president, at the latter's party office. The meeting took place on a day when polling in two seats of Birbhum district was underway in the fourth phase.
"I had met Anubrata Mandal in a courtesy visit yesterday. It has nothing to do with politics. His mother passed away few days ago so I went to meet him. What's wrong in it? The media has unnecessarily politicised it," he said at a press conference.
Jadavpur is scheduled to witness polling in the last phase on May 19. Hazra tries to defend himself and said that one of the reasons why he decided to snap ties with TMC because of his differences with Mondal.
Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy also defenced Hazra, saying he is a victim of "political conspiracy".
Meanwhile, the BJP had asked Hazra to submit an explanation about his meeting with Mondal. "Anubrata Mondal is the last word in Birbhum district. I came to offer condolences on the demise of his mother," Hazra had said on Monday. He had also remarked that the senior TMC leader is like his "uncle".
For his part, Mondal had said he met Hazra but did not wish him victory in the Jadavpur. "If he (Hazra) accepts his mistake, he may come back to us (TMC). I can make him MP again. I can speak to (TMC supremo) Mamata Banerjee about it," he had said.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, however, appeared upset over the development and said he will talk to Hazra about it, PTI reported. "He (Hazra) has said it was a courtesy visit. But it would have been better had he met Anubrata Mondal on some other day. In our party we have discipline and all of us have to maintain it," Ghosh had said.