‘TMC Has Turned Barrackpore into Extortion Hub; Party-hopping Is Non-issue’: BJP’s Arjun Singh to News18 – News18

Arjun Singh said the people of Barrackpore are not bothered about him changing sides. Pic/News18

Arjun Singh, who switched from the Trinamool Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party just before the 2019 elections, and back after winning, has again joined the BJP on being denied a ticket and will take on TMC minister Partha Bhowmick for the West Bengal seat. Voting for the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat will take place in the fifth phase of the ongoing general elections on May 20

West Bengal’s Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency is known for its cosmopolitan colour. The area has been in the news because of local strongman Arjun Singh, who switched from the Trinamool Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party just before the 2019 elections, and back after winning. On being denied a ticket by the TMC this time, he has again joined the BJP and will take on Trinamool minister Partha Bhowmick for the seat.

News18 spoke to Arjun Singh, who said that if there is violence on voting day, May 20, and his side is attacked, he will not hold back. He also said that “corruption, Sandeshkhali, and CAA” are the main poll issues in West Bengal. Edited excerpts:

What’s the mood like?

You will see the result on June 4. I will win with a thumping majority.

You have changed sides so many times. Will that not have an effect?

This change story is a non-issue, and this will not help anyone. The people of Barrackpore are with me and will be with me. I am going to win and that’s final.

You are going to the people. Are they not asking you why you have changed parties so many times?

The people of Barrackpore consider me their son, brother, and friend. So no matter what, the people here will vote for me. They are not bothered about change.

What are the issues in Barrackpore?

Corruption and extortion. Partha Bhowmick who is a lieutenant of Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee has made this place an extortion hub and they have destroyed the industry for cut money. There is gundaraj, corruption raj, loot raj here in Barrackpore. There is huge corruption in municipality recruitment.

Is corruption also an issue in the polls in Bengal?

Definitely. There is so much corruption. Corruption, Sandeshkhali, and CAA are the main issues in Bengal.

The Prime Minister came here. What was the feeling like?

The fact that the PM came to campaign for me is the biggest response to questions all of you ask about my changing parties. It was a great feeling and he has seen the people’s support.

How confident are you of winning?

In Bengal, we will get more than 30 seats, and in the country, we will cross 400.

Do you expect violence on your polling day?

When you are asking about violence here, what happened in Durgapur? The Election Commission and administration will handle the situation. If people attack us, do you think we will leave them?

What’s your position on the Citizenship Amendment Act?

We will give citizenship to everyone. The Mamata Banerjee government is misleading the people on this. No matter what, nobody can stop this. The Matua community is with us.

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