Mukul Roy returns to TMC, hints at more exits from BJP

In a major jolt to the BJP, the party’s national vice-president Mukul Roy did a ‘ghar wapsi’ by joining the Trinamool Congress, along with his son Subhranshu Roy, on Friday, four years after deserting the Trinamool Congress. Mukul Roy was the first TMC leader to join the BJP in September 2017 and is also the first heavyweight BJP leader to return to the Trinamool Congress.

Roy had a long meeting with the TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, the party’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim, and party secretary-general Partha Chatterjee, after which they rejoined the party. “BJP national vice-president Mukul Roy has expressed his desire to join the AITC. Following the approval of the TMC supremo, we are welcoming him,” Partha Chatterjee said.

Welcoming Mukul Roy, once her closest aide, Mamata Banerjee said, “Mukul is part of my own family. He was threatened and exploited by the BJP. Mukul has received mental peace by returning to TMC. His health condition had also deteriorated because one cannot stay in the BJP. It is a heartless party and no human being can stay there.”

“It is his (Mukul Roy) personal decision to join the party. BJP is a party of zamindars and it is like a feudal party where people are exploited,” Mamata said, adding,

Among the factors which led to Roy’s defection was Suvendu Adhikari’s meteoric rise in the BJP in the recent past and him being made the leader of opposition. The fact that he was overlooked made Roy very unhappy. He also had a prolonged bitter relationship with BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, and despite being known as the ‘chanakya’ of Bengal politics, Mukul Roy’s capability was under-utilised by the BJP leadership. There was disillusionment ever since he joined the saffron party in 2017 which aggravated over the last few years, BJP insiders said.

“I am happy that I have returned to my own people, my old acquaintances and people I know for so long. I am happy that I am with people’s leader Mamata Banerjee, who is a national leader,” Mukul Roy said. “I decided to leave BJP and join TMC. I never had any discord with the TMC ideology. Given the current situation of Bengal, no one will stay in the BJP,” Mukul Roy said. Meanwhile, Dilip Ghosh said, “Those who are the wealth of the BJP are continuing with the saffron party.”

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