Mukul Roy after joining TMC
NEW DELHI: BJP national vice president Mukul Roy’s return to Trinamool Congress evoked mixed reactions from the saffron brigade on Friday. While some senior leaders chose to ignore the blow on the party, there were those who called him a traitor.
Roy who was a close aide of West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, till he left and joined BJP in 2017, may have been a prized catch by BJP central leadership which was trying hard to establish the spread of party in the state. But, the state unit of the party had not really welcomed him with open arms as they were sidelined to some extent by the central leaders, who needed to break into TMC bastion with the help of Roy’s acumen and grip on the ground. There were many who had been unhappy and apprehensive about his entry into BJP as Roy was the main target for BJP to malign TMC for corruption for his links to the Sharada and Narada scams.
According to sources close to Roy, he was stopped by the central paramilitary security personnel attached to him, from leaving his home in Kolkata on Friday afternoon when he was setting out for Trinamool Bhawan to rejoin Mamata Banerjee’s party. It is learnt that he was told that there are instructions to not let him out of the premises of his house, for security reasons. "However, when Roy insisted on leaving along with his son, there was a scuffle between security personnel and Roy’s own people before he could leave for the TMC headquarters" according TMC sources.
Hence it is not surprising that state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh asserted that the move will have no impact on his organisation, and former TMC MP and BJP member Anupam Hazra claimed that "lobby politics at play is adversely affecting the party." Ghosh said he was not sure if the BJP would lose anything from Roy's decision, given that he was "unsure whether we gained anything" from his entry three-and-half years back. "Right now, we are bothered about more serious issues as the cycle of violence goes on unabated in the state. We are bothered about the safety of our workers, who are being targeted by TMC activists," he pointed out.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, refused to be drawn into the issue, and refused a comment when asked about Roy’s departure from BJP to get back into TMC, during a press conference he was holding.
Roy’s entry into BJP initiated a whole array of migration from TMC to BJP over and created a divide within Bengal BJP unit between the original BJP members and the new entrants. In fact, this divide playing out during the elections especially in terms of ticket distribution, seems to have hurt the saffron party which lost out to TMC.
BJP state unit vice president Joyprakash Majumder, on his part, extended his best wishes to Roy, and said that he should immediately quit all saffron party posts. "Mukul babu is a veteran leader, he is a known face in Bengal politics. We wish him the best in his new innings but shouldn't he forthwith quit from the primary membership and all other posts of the BJP? Should he not resign as the MLA as he had won a seat on the Lotus (BJP) symbol," Majumder said.