Mukul 'clean chit' irks BJP

Mukul Roy's attempt to defend chief minister Mamata Banerjee over her alleged knowledge of Saradha and Narada scandals has ruffled the Bengal BJP's feathers.

By A Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 14.10.17
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Roy

Calcutta, Oct. 13: Mukul Roy's attempt to defend chief minister Mamata Banerjee over her alleged knowledge of Saradha and Narada scandals has ruffled the Bengal BJP's feathers.

Sources at 6, Muralidhar Sen Lane - the BJP's Bengal headquarters - said the state unit had conveyed its "displeasure" to the national leadership over the former Trinamul leader's "clean chit" to the chief minister.

After quitting as a Rajya Sabha member on Wednesday, Roy had said that Mamata had no prior knowledge of the Saradha deposit-mobilisation default and the Narada payoff cases. The statement came amid whispers that Roy was seeking to hobnob with the BJP after his exit from Trinamul.

"Many of the BJP's state functionaries have been calling up four-five national leaders to share their discontent over Roy's remark that absolved Mamata of any wrongdoing," said a senior state BJP leader.

Although Roy batted for the BJP-RSS parivar and criticised dynasty politics, single leader-based parties and Trinamul's ethics of choosing political partners, he steered clear of directly attacking Mamata and underscored her personal probity.

"Who is Mukul to give a clean chit to anybody? It is a court-monitored CBI probe and the investigation is not complete. If the CBI wants, it can summon Mamata, too, for interrogation," said state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu.

Sources said many BJP officials had raised Roy's remark at a meeting of the party's district presidents and general secretaries today.

"Roy is a clever man and knows how to avoid unwanted questions from the media, but he meticulously gave a clean chit to Mamata. He did not dodge the question from journalists. But he responded with resolve," said a BJP insider.

While most in the state BJP unit are almost sure of Roy's induction into the party, some said his "uncalled for" statement that defended Mamata might delay it by a few weeks.

A state committee member of the BJP said he was otherwise likely to join the party after Bhai Phonta (October 21)#.

Roy couldn't be contacted for his reaction.

Free poll plea

Mukul Roy met senior officials of the Election Commission in New Delhi on Friday and requested them to ensure that all elections in Bengal in future were "clean", like the Lok Sabha polls of 2009 and the Assembly polls of 2011.

"Only because those elections were clean, parivartan (change) was possible in the state after 1977," said a source close to Roy, reiterating that the meeting was not regarding the launch of a new party by the former Trinamul leader.