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Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

Ongoing Roy-TMC spat is a drama enacted to fool people, claim Congress, CPI (M)

The two opposition parties are avoiding taking side in the ongoing war of words between ruling party in West Bengal and its former general secretary.

kolkata Updated: Nov 28, 2017 11:18 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Former Trinamool Congress leader  Mukul Roy with BJP national president Amit Shah.
Former Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy with BJP national president Amit Shah. (HT File Photo )

The opposition CPI (M) and the Congress in West Bengal on Tuesday accused the Trinamool Congress and its former general secretary Mukul Roy, who recently joined BJP, of “orchestrating” a drama by attacking each other to hoodwink people.

Roy and the TMC are engaged in a bitter spat over the former’s claim that chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee owns Biswa Bangla, the umbrella brand being promoted by the state government and Jago Bangla, the mouthpiece of the ruling party.

“I shall keep exposing more misdeeds (in the TMC),” Roy threatened at a recent press conference in Kolkata.

Taking a serious note of the allegations against him, Banerjee even filed a defamation suit against the BJP leader.

But the two opposition parties, who have been so far careful not to take side in the ongoing war or words, view the entire episode as a farce.

“When on November 3, Mukul Roy officially joined BJP, I had said it was nothing but akin to mobile number portability feature offered by telecom networks, considering that BJP and Trinamool had always been clandestine partners. Now this has turned into an ownership battle on who will get the dividend of the private limited company called the TMC,” CPI (M) politburo and Lok Sabha member Md Salim told HT.

“When this private business entity was floated, Mukul played a key role in reaping profits for that entity. And now he wants his share and so all this drama. In reality he is player on lien in BJP now. A somewhat similar drama was witnessed before 2014 general elections. It is just a repeat show in a bigger scale now,” Salim added.

Senior Congress legislator and leader of the Opposition in West Bengal assembly Abdul Mannan said that for his party “Trinamool is Mukul and Mukul is Trinamool.”

“Mukul once did all the dirty work for the TMC, which in turn allowed Mukul to carry on with all such anti- democratic activities. Now what is going on is just a high- pitched drama. We in Congress are watching and enjoying the fun. We have no intention of getting into this,” Mannan told HT.

Many in the two parties, however, in private say there were other reasons too for keeping a safe distance from the ongoing controversy.

Backing Roy will give the TMC an opportunity to portray the Congress and the CPI (M) as clandestine partners of BJP, sources pointed out.

Secondly, opposing Roy over his series of allegations is virtually impossible for both the parties since the former TMC second-in-command is highlighting “corruption” in Trinamool, an issue that both Left and Congress had also raised in the past.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 11:18 IST