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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

Mamata said ED targeted Sheikh Shahjahan, this hurt me so much: Tapas Roy quits Trinamul

Roy's departure from the party resulted in a fresh embarrassment for the ruling Trinamul as he pointed out the recent developments in Sandeshkhali and a slew of corruption charges as one of the reasons behind his resignation

Snehamoy Chakraborty Calcutta Published 05.03.24, 12:24 PM
Tapas Roy.

Tapas Roy. DG2104796.jpg

Trinamul veteran Tapas Roy on Monday tendered his resignation to Speaker Biman Banerjee as the party's Baranagar MLA after expressing his disappointment and hurt with his former party and its supremo Mamata Banerjee for allegedly leaving him in the lurch after a raid by Enforcement Directorate team at his Bowbazar residence on January 12 in connection with an alleged recruitment scam in several municipalities.

It is being assumed that Roy would contest from a Lok Sabha seat in Calcutta on a BJP ticket.

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"When she (Mamata) delivered her speech in the Assembly, she could have said about the ED raids at my house. But she said ED targeted Sheikh Shahjahan. This disheartened and hurt me so much," said Roy adding that no senior leader from the Trinamul called him during his period of crisis.

In the Assembly on February 15, Mamata said the ED first targeted Shahjahan and cleared the ground for the saffron ecosystem to instigate tension in Sandeshkhali.
Shahjahan, the Trinamul Zilla Parishad member and the Trinamul strongman, accused of land-grabbing, torture and sexually assaulting women, is now in police custody after being arrested in connection with an attack on ED officials during a raid on his house in connection with alleged PDS (public distribution system) scam at Sandeshkhali's Sarberia on January 5.

Roy, 67, claimed he resigned from all administrative posts, including the party's deputy chief whip in the Assembly on March 1, before putting down his papers before the Speaker of the House on Monday afternoon.

Roy's departure from the party resulted in a fresh embarrassment for the ruling Trinamul as he pointed out the recent developments in Sandeshkhali and a slew of corruption charges as one of the reasons behind his resignation.

"The massive charges of corruption (against Trinamul) and finally Sandeshkhali issue was a huge embarrassment for me inside and outside my party," the six-term MLA said.

After learning that Roy is set to resign as an MLA, the Trinamul tried to retain him by sending Trinamul leaders Bratya Basu and Kunal Ghosh to his residence.

"It did not work as Tapas da had already decided to quit the party and did not agree to continue his allegiance with Trinamul. The effort was in vain," said a Trinamul leader.

A source in Trinamul said the party did not give up hope on Roy as a top party leadership Trinamul leader requested him not to join other political parties and wait for a response for at least a week. Speaker Banerjee said he would decide on accepting Roy's resignation on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's a slim chance but the party is still trying to convince him to stay in the party," Trinamul sources said.

However, as soon as the veteran trained his guns against the Trinamul, many in the party asked if Roy had quit fearing raids by central agencies or had a "good deal".

" Why did he not speak about such allegations earlier? Why did it come suddenly, 15 days before the election's announcement? Trinamul made you (Roy) a minister, the deputy chief whip, and the party's president for years. It is being heard that you will change your ideology and join another party... One person can act in such a way when he or have offered a good deal or out of fear (of central agencies)," said Trinamul leader Santanu Sen.

Like Sen, several other Trinamul leaders took turns to counter Roy's decision as a betrayal of the party, before an important election. They also pointed out why the leader did not come up with such allegations soon after tension in Sandeshkhali began.

Roy told The Telegraph that he had nothing to fear as everyone in Bengal's political circles knew him for his honesty and integrity. He said party leaders should think about a set of MPs and MLAs who have been keeping mum when it came to attacking the BJP following fear of raids by central agencies.

Amid the row over Roy's resignation, Mamata accused the BJP of using the CBI and the ED to defect leaders of Opposition parties to the saffron camp before the elections.

"People are called and threatened that if they do not join the BJP, the ED or CBI will be sent to their homes," said Mamata in East Midnapore's Tamluk on Monday.

"There is no reason to fear any investigation as I have nothing to hide," said Roy.

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