Hours before party general-secretary Mukul Roy was expected to walk into the CBI office on Friday to face questions over the multi-crore-rupee Saradha scam, the Trinamool Congress was staring at two equally frightening possibilities.
Scenario 1: If Roy is arrested, the party will be pinned to the wall. Scenario 2: If he is not, he might be used to engineer a split in the 18-year-old party. Trinamool leaders, including chief minister Mamata Banerjee, are jittery over Roy, after he said publicly that he met arrested Saradha chief Sudipta Sen twice – once in Kolkata and once at Deolo, near Kalimpong.
Analysts said Roy’s recent comment in Delhi was almost like a teaser – a cryptic indicator of the information he may share with investigators “In one sense the second scenario — if Roy is not arrested — is more frightening. Almost everyone, from Srinjoy Bose to Madan Mitra, was arrested. If Roy is allowed to go home, it may point to new plots that may result into sleepless nights for the party leaders,” a Lok Sabha MP said.
Of late, there have been a lot of talks in various circles that Trinamool was on the verge of a split especially after Dinesh Trivedi criticized the party and the chief minister. BJP leaders in Delhi and Kolkata have even claimed that a split was imminent with about 40 to 50 MLAs, ministers and MPs waiting for a nod to cross over.
On Wednesday, the party said it wouldn’t tolerate rebellion and was getting ready to suspend leaders who had publicly criticized the party. Mamata will take the final call when she meets all her top lieutenants at her house in Kalighat on Saturday. Interestingly, the meeting is slated a day after party general secretary Roy is scheduled to face the CBI for his alleged involvement in the multi-crorerupee chit fund scam.
“I have always maintained that I would co-operate with the investigation. I will go to the CBI office at the designated time,” Roy said on Wednesday.
While some believe that Roy was successful in brokering a deal with the BJP in Delhi to evade arrest, others believe that he will spill everything and not sink alone.
“It’s true that he tried to cozy up with the BJP. But he failed. Our leaders ignored him,” Rahul Sinha, BJP state president, said.
“Roy is Trinamool’s key man. He knows the par ty organization inside out. He knows too many secrets. If he is arrested, he may leak everything. If not, there could be a chance that he had already struck a deal with the BJP to break his own party,” a senior leader said.
The situation has become all the more intriguing since a number of people grilled by the CBI in connection with the Saradha scam named Roy of having links with the chit fund firm.
While Sudipta Sen’s driver Arvind Chauhan has openly said that Roy met the Saradha chief at Nizam Palace days before he fled to Kashmir in April 2013, Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh has constantly been alleging that the Trinamool general secretary was present in a late night meeting with Sen at the hill resort of Deolo on March 2012. Ominously, Ghosh also alleged that Mamata was also present in that meeting. Once a confidante of Roy, Asif Khan, too, has alleged that Roy not only met Sen, but also knew a lot about how things went on in the Saradha empire and that he benefited a lot from the operations.