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Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy resigns from party, to quit RS after Puja

Mukul Roy was removed from the position of party general secretary in 2015 after his name came under the CBI scanner in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund case

india Updated: Sep 26, 2017 10:19 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Mukul Roy,Trinamool Congress,Sarada scam
Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy announced his resignation from the party.(File Photo)

Senior Trinamool Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy announced his resignation from the party on Monday after months of being sidelined by chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Roy, the party’s former all-India general secretary who was considered the number 2 in the party after Banerjee, said he resigned from the Trinamool Congress working committee and would quit the Upper House and party primary membership after Durga Puja, which ends on September 30.

“It is with a heavy heart and pain that I announce this. This was a party that I helped set up on December 17, 1997,” said the 63-year-old MP in Kolkata.

Roy was removed from the position of party general secretary in 2015 after his name came under the CBI scanner in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund case. He was further sidelined after reports of his hobnobbing with BJP leaders reached Mamata Banerjee.

“I have sent an e-mail this morning informing my decision to step down from the working committee. I shall resign from Rajya Sabha immediately after the pujas. About eight months are left for my tenure to end in the Upper House,” Roy said at a press conference on Monday in Kolkata. “At that time I shall also step down from the primary membership of the party.”

Roy’s announcement caps months of growing rift with chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who was seen sidelining her former trusted general in the party.

“This is the time of the pujas and none will be interested in petty politics. So I shall explain why I took the decision in detail later,” he said. Roy said that he will spend the next few days celebrating Durga puja.

On September 20 Roy, who got Z category security, refused the security he was entitled to. On Sunday, he went to the inauguration of a Durga puja that is identified with Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, who was suspended by the party after he spoke out against the chief minister in the Saradha scam. He also described party secretary general Partha Chatterjee as “juvenile”.

“This is the time of the pujas and none will be interested in petty politics. So I shall explain why I took the decision in detail later. - Mukul Roy

The 63-year-old’s importance in the party stemmed from the fact that he was responsible for expanding and managing the organisation both in Bengal and beyond it.

Roy not only had the ears of the chief minister, but also was known as a trouble shooter. When Mamata Banerjee stepped down as the rail minister from UPA I government to contest the assembly elections from Bhawanipore constituency, Dinesh Trivedi was chosen to replace her. Roy replaced Trivedi, who quit after protests over a rail fare hike.

He was the railway minister from March 20, 2012 to September 21, 2012.

On Monday, Roy also led a veiled attack on chief minister Mamata Banerjee. “No individual can claim credit for guarding the liberal character of Bengal and its accommodative attitude towards minorities,” he remarked from the dais of the inauguration programme of Ghosh’s Durga puja.

Roy’s son, Subhrangshu, is also a TMC MLA from Bijpur constituency from North 24 Parganas district. He first won in 2011 and was reelected in 2016.

It remains to be seen whether he, too, resigns from the party.

First Published: Sep 25, 2017 11:32 IST