The isolation of Trinamool Congress’s former Number Two, Mukul Roy, was completed on Friday as he was removed even from patient welfare committees at hospitals after losing the parliamentary party chairman’s post for his growing closeness with the BJP.
Roy’s meeting with finance minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi on Thursday and his praise for the NDA government’s rail budget — panned by the Trinamool — were the final straws behind his total alienation in the party that he helped build with chief minister Mamata Banerjee until they drifted apart over the multi-crore Saradha deposit scam.
Party sources said the idea was to reduce him to a persona non grata and send a strong message to his followers — many of whom are MPs and MLAs.
“We are aware what he is trying to do and so is the party chief,” a Trinamool leader said.
Roy, son Subhrangshu and a few close aides are currently camping in Delhi.
“Jaitley is the Union finance minister … I can always meet him. If the party wants to remove me from posts in Parliament, it is free to do so. History has shown it. Only time will tell who is right and who is wrong,” said the former loyalist of the West Bengal chief minister.
The BJP played down Roy’s meeting with Jaitley, saying it was a routine call-on.
“He is tainted and we are fighting in Bengal on the Saradha scam and the Trinamool’s role in it. Do you think we will take the step to induct him and face criticism? However, if such reports make the Trinamool look like a divided house and weaken Mamata, we don’t mind such useless speculation,” a BJP leader said.