The Trinamool Congress, in a meeting at the residence of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, removed Mukul Roy from the post general secretary of the party.
At the hour long meeting, Roy was replaced by Subrata Bakshi, another Mamata loyalist, after a 21-member new national working committee was formed.
The immediate reason for the action seemed to be Roy’s meeting with Arun Jaitley on Thursday and his frequent visits to the Election Commission office. The backdrop was prepared by Roy’s widely discussed proximity to BJP and the impression that he was preparing a coup with several MLA, MPs and district leaders of Trinamool Congress.
The split between Roy and Banerjee became evident with the discovery of the Sarada chit fund scam. While the chief minister slammed the CBI probe into the scam as an act of political vendetta, Roy swore he would cooperate with the investigation.
The new chairperson of the national committee is Mamata Banerjee while Dinesh Tribedi and Sultan Ahmed have been made vice presidents. Tamonash Ghose was selected as the treasurer while Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Derek O’ Brien, Subhendu Adhikari and Firhad Hakim have been made joint secretaries.
“Our national working committee has been reconstituted. With Mamata Banerjee as the chairperson, Subrata Bakshi has been made the general secretary of the party,” said Partha Chatterjee secretary general.
“As the general secretary Subrata Bakshi will communicate with the Election Commission now,” said Subrata Mukherjee, vice president of the party.
Roy avoided any direct comment slamming his party.
“When I sent the letter of formation of our party on 17 December 1997 to Election Commission as the general secretary, the party had no members. Even the party chief (Mamata Banerjee) was not a member. Now the party has grown,” remarked Roy in Delhi.
“Apart from being in power in Bengal it has 34 Lok Sabha members and 11 Rajya Sabha members. Whatever decision it took is appropriate. Able people are given responsibility. Only time will tell whether the decision is right or wrong,” added Roy.
Significantly, during the day when Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra severely criticized the budget, Roy reacted positively describing it as a balanced one with West Bengal getting something. A couple of days ago, he also welcomed the railway budget too.
Saturday’s party reconstitution left Roy as just a Rajya Sabha MP in the party. Roy was the main organisation man who was credited with Trinamool’s electoral triumphs over the last few years, prominent among which are the 2011 assembly polls, 2013 panchayat polls and 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Sources with in the party stated that this was bound to happen as Mamata Banerjee already has started clipping Roy’s wings a few weeks back. From chairmanship of ‘Rogi Kalyan Samity’ in hospitals in Nadia to making him ineffective in Parliamentary party, the process rolled on only in one direction.