Ex-TMC leader Mukul Roy quits Rajya Sabha, suspense over next move
Will Mukul Roy will join the BJP or form a new political outfit to challenge Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal? Speculation is rife in political circles.india Updated: Oct 11, 2017 21:57 IST
Suspended Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy, once a confidant of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, today quit the party and the Rajya Sabha, intensifying speculation about his possible induction into the BJP.
Parting ways with the TMC that he helped build with Banerjee, Roy, 63, fired a stinging salvo at Banerjee accusing her of running a one-man show and propagating dynastic politics. His exit from the TMC marked the end of his 20-year-long ties with West Bengal’s ruling party.
Roy, who was suspended for six years for “anti-party activities” by the Banerjee-led TMC following his announcement on September 25 that he would resign after Durga Puja, also said that he had never considered the BJP a “communal party”.
“I feel in a party everybody is a comrade and not a servant. And this kind of behaviour is common in every one-man political outfit.
“One-man politics is bad for every political party in the country,” Roy told reporters in Delhi, adding he is leaving the TMC, the party he formed with others, with a heavy heart and much pain.
Roy was speaking after submitting his resignation to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.
Without naming Banerjee, he said dynastic politics in the party was one of the main reasons for him to leave it.
“There was no atmosphere in the TMC to even raise issues such as dynasty rule,” he said when asked as to why he took so long to take a decision to protest against the so called “dynastic politics” in the party.
The TMC leadership rubbished the allegation levelled by Roy against the party and accused him of acting as an agent of BJP to save himself from the clutches of CBI, which is investigating Narada and Saradha cases in which his name has cropped up.
TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee called Roy a “traitor” and accused him of “acting as an agent of BJP in the party who was trying to weaken it in order to save himself from the clutches of CBI.”
“Why is he (Roy) making these completely baseless allegations now ? If he was so much against the decisions of the party, he could have left it long ago. Who stopped him? Actually he is making those allegations to please the BJP, so that they induct him,” Chatterjee, who is also a state minister, told reporters in Kolkata.
The West Bengal unit of the BJP appeared divided on the issue of inducting Roy into the party, with some lauding his organisational skills and others expressing concern over the corruption charges that he faces.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh lauded Roy as a “good organiser” and said he had made a “big contribution” to the growth of the TMC in Bengal.
“Nothing has been decided as of now as we are yet to take a call on this(induction into BJP). But his departure from the TMC is good news for all of us who are fighting against the misrule of the TMC,” he said.
At the same time, there were some misgivings in the party about Roy’s possible induction.
“Inducting Mukul Roy will do harm to the image of the party. He has several corruption cases against him and inducting him would means we are also a part of that baggage,” said a senior state BJP leader, who did not want to be identified.
Cracks had begun to surface in the relationship between Roy and Banerjee with the rise of her nephew Abhishek Banerjee as the next generation leader of the party.
The fissures widened in 2015 when Roy’s name came up in the Saradha chit scam and he was removed as general secretary.
The party suspended Roy last month accusing him of hobnobbing with the BJP.
Roy criticised the TMC’s stand of opposing the BJP saying that Banerjee’s party was part of the NDA earlier. He admitted that he was “close” to leaders of the RSS and the BJP.
Referring to Banerjee’s tenure as a minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Roy said that the TMC cannot use the word “communal” against the BJP to suit its political requirements.
Roy was known for his organisational capability, loyalty to Banerjee and backroom manoeuvring skills until he fell out with her. He held the rail portfolio and was the minister of state for shipping at the centre.