Mukul on way to Trinamul office, the buzz he is quitting BJP
Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy is likely to return to his parent party, the All India Trinamul Congress after more than three and-a-half years, sources close to him said in Friday amid widespread speculation over the last couple of weeks.
“Yes, I am going to Trinamul Bhawan,” Roy told newspersons outside his Salt Lake residence a little after 2pm.
Chief minister and Trinamul supremo Mamata Banerjee has called a meeting with key party leaders at the party headquarters, where the issue of turncoats "returning home" is likely to be discussed, at 3pm.
Long regarded as the Number Two in Trinamul scheme of things, Roy’s fallout with Mamata started around September 2014, when the heat of Saradha scam was scorching the Trinamul leadership.
Roy’s attempt to distance himself from a deal signed between the railway subsidiary IRCTC and Saradha during Mamata’s tenure as railway minister had irked the chief minister.
One after the other, Roy’s key men were removed from their positions, and he himself was sidelined.
Till December 29, 2014, Roy was the sole in-charge of handling membership and renewals, after which a six-member scrutiny committee was announced. Roy had stayed away from the first meeting of the committee held on January 1, 2015.
After much speculation in November 2017, Roy formally joined the BJP, the same party, one of whose leaders had coined the slogan: Bhag Mukul Bhag.
Mukul ran to the BJP and on Friday was likely to be making a reverse journey to the Trinamul.
“As long as he was in the party, he focussed himself on the organisational role. He was not hankering after personal glory. He did whatever he was told. Though differences had cropped up, he never worked against the interest of the party,” said a Trinamul source.
This gesture of Roy makes him stand in a better light against the likes of the Adhikary family. Sisir Adhikary continues to be a Trinamul MP, while campaigning for the BJP in the Assembly polls.
It is expected Roy will formally quit his maiden Assembly seat Krishnagar North, like he did with the Rajya Sabha seat which he resigned from after quitting Trinamul. The buzz in Trinamul is that Roy could be offered either of the two Rajya Sabha seats vacated by Dinesh Trivedi and Manas Bhunia. Trivedi has joined the BJP and Bhunia is a minister in the Mamata cabinet.
Sources said Roy had told close associates about feeling "suffocated" in the BJP and that his frustration grew with the BJP's defeat in the Bengal election.
The former Trinamool MP has concluded, said sources, that the BJP's political culture and ethos was alien to Bengal.
"No one has their finger on their pulse of the people like Mamata Banerjee," sources close to Mukul Roy said quoting the leader as saying. "Certainly not the BJP or those who have jumped from Trinamool," he reportedly said, reported ndtv.com.
Mukul Roy's " homecoming" has dominated speculation in Bengal for weeks, ever since the state election results that returned Mamata Banerjee to power with a landslide against the BJP's challenge.
The buzz intensified last week when Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Mamata Banerjee and a key leader of her party, visited Roy at the hospital where his wife is admitted. The very next day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly spoke to Roy on the phone to ask after his wife health.
Roy's silence and his absence from a key BJP meet in Calcutta were seen to be big hints that the reports were true.