In a big blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal, its all-India Vice President and MLA Mukul Roy joined the Trinamool Congress on Friday along with his son Subhrangshu Roy, almost four years after deserting the Trinamool camp for the saffron brigade.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was present at the Trinamool Bhavan during the meeting to induct Roy back into the party fold, said that more people will come out of the BJP and join the Trinamool Congress.
Roy and his son were greeted back into the Trinamool fold by its all-India General Secretary, Abhishek Banerjee.
"Mukul (Roy) is our old member and he has come back. He was not in a good condition in the BJP because the saffron party created pressure on him through agencies, as a result he was not in mental peace. I was watching that 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," Mamata Banerjee said.
Roy, who had left Trinamool Congress in 2017, said, "I am having a nice feeling for being among familiar people again. This has a kind of homely atmosphere. I am confident that West Bengal will again reach to the top under the leadership of our leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee."
When asked what made him return to the Trinamool, the former all-India General Secretary of the party said, "I shall not work for the BJP again, so I have come back here."
Denying having any difference with Roy even when he was in the BJP, Mamata Banerjee said, "Even when he was in the BJP, he never said anything against me or the party. He has always been good with our party leaders. Even during the elections, he was quiet about our party."
Hinting that more people from the BJP are likely to join the Trinamool, the Chief Minister said, "Trinamool will welcome everybody who is sober and gentle. But there are some people who betrayed the party before the elections and badmouthed the Trinamool leaders. They are betrayers, and the party will never accept them."
The BJP, however, tried to separate itself from Roy and asked him to resign as Krishnanagar North MLA, and give up all the party portfolios that he was enjoying.
Speaking to the media, state BJP President Dilip Ghosh said, "Mukul Roy wanted to leave the party and so he has left. Thousands of BJP workers are out of their homes who are more important to me. I don''t know how the BJP stands to lose with Roy leaving the party, because his presence in the party did not serve any benefit."
Meanwhile, state BJP spokesperson Jay Prakash Majumdar wished Roy all the best for his news innings in the old party.
However, BJP MP from Barrackpore, Arjun Singh, strongly criticised Roy, alleging that he and his son have always done politics for their vested interest.
"He behaved like â€˜Mir Jafar'', but I am not at all surprised. I have never trusted him. He is a betrayer and he has not made any contribution to the party," Singh said.
Another BJP leader, Silbhadra Dutta, said, "Personally I cannot make a comment on one''s choice of a political party, but one should keep in mind that frequent party switching doesn''t create a good impression among the people."
Though most of the BJP leaders chose to ignore Roy, there were last minute efforts to hold him back.
Senior state BJP leaders had called Roy before he was supposed to leave for the Trinamool Bhavan at 3 pm, but Roy decided to shun all his ties with the saffron brigade and didn''t take the calls.
There were indications that Roy was on his way to change camp, which became evident when Abhishek Banerjee went to see his ailing wife at a private hospital a few days back.
Interestingly, neither the Trinamool leaders, nor Roy had given any indication that their talks have reached a final stage until Friday.
( 689 Words)