On Friday (June 11) afternoon, BJP leader Mukul Roy quit the BJP and returned to the Trinamool Congress after having deserted the party 4 years ago.
The development comes just a month after the TMC won a landslide victory in the West Bengal State Legislative polls. Mukul Roy met Mamata Banerjee at the party headquarters along with his son Subhrangshu Roy. Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee and aide Partha Chatterjee were also present at the meeting.
“Warmly welcoming the National Vice-President of @BJP4India, 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,” tweeted Trinamool Congress.
Warmly welcoming the National Vice-President of @BJP4India, Shri Mukul Roy, into the Trinamool family. We understand the multiple challenges he faced in BJP.— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) June 11, 2021
We look forward to this new journey whereby we can work in unison, prioritizing the well-being of the people of India.
Mukul Roy speaks about decision to quit BJP
Mukul Roy remarked, “I am overjoyed after meeting my old party members in this gathering. I feel happy after returning home (back to TMC). Through my conversation with people, I have realised that Bengal will return back to its old glory. And the person who will lead this campaign to restore the golden past of Bengal is none other than Mamata Banerjee.” He added that the reason for quitting BJP will be handed over to the press in a written statement.
On being asked about his ‘fluctuating ideology’ and his personal remarks against Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee in the past, Mukul Roy cunningly responded, “Today, the situation of Bengal is such that none will like to stay in the BJP.” He claimed that he never had ideological differences with Mamata Banerjee and that the dynamics of the relationship will remain consistent even in the future.
Mukul Roy, the former lieutenant of Mamata Banerjee, had quit the TMC in 2017 over disagreements with the party’s top leadership on several issues, including differences with Abhishek Banerjee. Interestingly, Abhishek Banerjee had recently visited Mukul Roy’s ailing wife in hospital, fuelling speculation regarding his return to TMC. Mukul Roy was also missing from Tuesday’s meeting called by the state BJP leadership. After Mukul Roy quit TMC in 2017, he was appointed the BJP national vice president in the run-up to the Bengal assembly elections.
Mamata Banerjee bats for Mukul Roy, threaten journalists against asking ‘bitter questions’
At the very onset, Mamata Banerjee said, “He is the son who was once estranged but has returned home now. And that is why we have met here to welcome Mukul back into the party.” She alleged that the BJP is a ‘heartless party’ and Roy’s return to the TMC fold again is a testimony of the saffron party’s supposed ill-treatment. She claimed that Mukul Roy has found ‘mental peace’ after joining the TMC.
“Our party had several traitors (referring to Suvendu Adhikari), Mukul wasn’t one of them. During elections, he did not even speak ill of our party. So, we took him back. We will not take back those who left TMC for BJP before elections,” she said. Mamata Banerjee was soon irked after journalists continued to press Mukul Roy about his ‘political opportunism’ and ‘fluidity in ideology.’
The West Bengal Chief Minister snapped, “Don’t ask individual questions. This is the Trinamool Bhavan and our office. Don’t ask bitter questions to him and create rift. I know some of you have been instructed to ask these questions.” On being quizzed about ideology, Banerjee alleged, “This is not about ideology. I know BJP people is feeding you. He is back and this is final. I am not here to satisfy you and the BJP media.”