‘No One Will Stay in BJP’: Mukul Roy Returns to TMC
“Those who betrayed us during elections will not be taken back,” Mamata Banerjee warned.
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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national Vice President Mukul Roy returned to the Trinamool Congress (TMC), joining the party in the presence of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Friday, 11 June, in Kolkata. Mukul Roy's son Subhranshu also joined the TMC along with his father.
Addressing the press shortly after his return to the TMC, Mukul Roy, according to ANI, said:
“I have joined TMC today. In the present circumstances, no one will stay in Bharatiya Janata Party.”
Mukul Roy also told the press that he will give a detailed, written response on why he left.
Taking to Twitter to welcome Mukul Roy, the official TMC handle wrote:
“Warmly welcoming the National Vice-President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shri Mukul Roy, into the Trinamool family. We understand the multiple challenges he faced in BJP.We look forward to this new journey whereby we can work in unison, prioritizing the well-being of the people of India.”
Once a confidant of Banerjee and one of the founding members of the TMC in 1998, Roy had joined the BJP in 2017.
‘Mukul Didn't Betray Us, Those Who Did Won’t Be Taken Back’: Mamata
CM Mamata Banerjee said that “Mukul hasn't said a word against TMC during elections,” further warning:
“Those who betrayed us during elections will not be taken back.”
The CM also alleged that Roy “was threatened a lot with agencies etc”.
“I feel he's got inner peace after joining TMC today,” said the CM adding that Roy’s health was deteriorating.
Mukul's Miff With the BJP
Roy, who stood for election after nearly two decades in the Assembly elections, won his Krishnanagar Dakshin seat on a BJP ticket.
However, during the BJP campaign, he was evidently sidelined.
This after the BJP “rewarded” him with the post of vice president following the saffron party's remarkable performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP won 18 out of the 42 seats in Bengal in that election, and Roy was slated to be the strong organisational mind behind it.
But as the Delhi high command took over the Bengal campaign, Roy started being increasingly less central to the party’s plans in the state. In the meanwhile, the party also got a more “high-profile” star acquisition from the BJP in the form of former TMC minister Suvendu Adhikari.
Adhikari, who beat Mamata Banerjee in the state's Nandigram constituency by a narrow margin of about 1,200 votes, was made Leader of Opposition (LOP) in the West Bengal Assembly after the elections.
This elevation of Adhikari's added fuel to the fire that was the rift between Roy and the BJP, say sources.
Since the election results, speculations were rife of Roy making a comeback to the BJP.
Earlier Abhishek Banerjee had visited Roy's wife in the hospital when she was unwell. Soon after PM Narendra Modi also called Roy, reportedly to enquire about his health. Roy's son had also been writing cryptic messages against the BJP, of which he was also a part.
This set off fresh speculations of Roy coming back to his former party.
Case-by-Case Decision on Leaders’ Ghar Wapsi
The Trinamool had earlier indicated that it was taking a "case-by-case" decision on leaders from BJP looking to make their way back to the TMC.
"Not just TMC turncoats, but BJP leaders who have won as MLAs are in talks with the BJP. The working committee of the party has left the decision to Didi," said Banerjee's nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, at a press conference in Kolkata earlier this week.
Abhishek was recently made the national general secretary of the party in an organisational rejig after the TMC won massively in the recently concluded West Bengal Assembly elections.
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