September 25, 2017
Hours after Mukul Roy said he is resigning from the Trinamool Congress, the party expelled him for six years.
In a big setback for the Trinamool Congress (TMC), senior leader and MP Mukul Roy has resigned from the party’s working committee.
Once a trusted lieutenant of TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Mukul Roy today announced that he will resign from the party’s primary membership and the Rajya Sabha MP’s post after Durga Puja. “I will reveal why I am resigning from the party after Durga Puja,” said Mukul Roy, adding that he was “forced” to leave the party.
Hours after Mukul Roy’s announcement, the Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee said that Roy has been expelled from the party for six years.
Mukul Roy’s son Subhransu Roy, however, maintained that he will continue to be with the Trinamool Congress. “(There is) no question of quitting TMC,” he said.
Speculations are rife in West Bengal’s political corridors that Mukul Roy could be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). If that happens, it could be a big boost for the saffron party in West Bengal where it has been trying to make inroads.
Taking a question on whether he would join the BJP, Roy said, “Whatever I have to say, I will say it after Durga Puja. But I would like to mention that people of Bengal don’t like political controversies during Durga Puja”.
Reports of Mukul Roy allegedly cosying up to the BJP leadership were believed to have riled Mamata Banerjee and the TMC leadership following which he was removed as the chairman of Parliament’s standing committee on transport and tourism. Roy was earlier removed as the party’s leader in Rajya Sabha.
While Mukul Roy made a formal announcement of his resignation from the Trinamool Congress today, talks of him leaving the party have been doing the rounds for a while.
A few days ago, a senior Trinamool Congress leader said that “if Mamata is the heart of the Trinamool Congress, Mukul is the head. It looks like the heart and head are drifting apart”.
Mukul Roy was once considered Mamata Banerjee’s closest confidant, troubleshooter and political advisor. The recent episode of Trinamool MLAs cross-voting in favour of NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind exposed the deep faultlines in the party. A red-faced Trinamool Congress stripped Mukul Roy off the party observer’s post in Tripura.
Within the party circles, Mukul Roy is largely credited for the Trinamool Congress’ meteoric rise in West Bengal. His exit from the party can change the political landscape of West Bengal.