Close to a thousand Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers flocked to the party office on Sunday to meet general secretary Mukul Roy a day after their chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Bannerjee clipped his wings in an attempt to contain the damage of the Saradha scam on the party.
Roy, once Banerjee’s second-in-command, is under the CBI scanner for his alleged involvement in the chit fund scam. On Saturday, the TMC chief effected a major organisational shake-up when she distributed his national responsibilities to other leaders at a meeting Roy skipped.
Roy dismissed reports that he was forming a new party, saying he considered himself to be an integral part of the TMC. “Our party is increasing day by day and the responsibilities are also increasing. We need new faces to share the responsibilities,” he said.
However, the scenes at the TMC office indicated that the sidelined leader was not afraid to show his strength. Though the hundreds who came to see him on Sunday were party workers, the TMC flag was conspicuous by its absence. Several placards pledged allegiance to Roy, with workers urging Roy not to quit the party.
Roy denied he was avoiding Banerjee. He said he skipped the Saturday meeting as he was busy with a party assignment and had informed Banerjee that he wouldn’t be there. “I am still working as the all-India general secretary of TMC,” he added.