Kolkata: Mukul Roy, BJP national vice-president who was once Mamata Banerjee’s aide now returned to the TMC along with his son Shubhranshu.
“Ghorer chhele ghore phirlo (Mukul has returned home),” said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He was never a traitor like the others, she emphasized and said, “Yes, more will come,” adding “As you know, old is always gold.”
Mukul Roy told reporters: “I feel great at seeing my old colleagues, after leaving the BJP. I can’t be in the BJP. Nobody will remain in the BJP.” He said Mamata Banerjee is “the only leader of Bengal and India”.
Sources say Mukul Roy had told close associates about feeling “suffocated” in the BJP party. His distress was augmented by the BJP’s defeat in the Bengal election. The former Trinamool MP concluded that the BJP’s political culture and ethos is alien to Bengal and it is doomed to remain an “outsider” in the foreseeable future.
The main source of his resentment was Suvendu Adhikari, another Mamata Banerjee aide who quickly became the BJP’s most-favored after he joined the party in December. The BJP has invested massively in Mr. Adhikari, whose victory over Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram was a redeeming point in the altogether disheartening election for the BJP in Bengal
The Bengal Chief Minister declared, “The situation in Bengal is such that no one will stay in the BJP. Those who joined BJP before the elections, they are traitors, but Mukul’s case is different as he joined BJP much before.”
She also said, “I think Mukul is himself relieved to be back. He was disturbed in the BJP, and tormented in that party.”
While reporters asked him about his attacks on “Didi” in the past few years, he replied: “I never had any differences with Mamata Banerjee.” and Mamata Banerjee sternly told the reporters: “Don’t try to create differences.”
She asserted that Mr. Roy joined the BJP because he was “threatened by agencies”; he is named in the FIR in the Narada bribery case involving allegations of Trinamool leaders accepting bribes on camera. So is Suvendu Adhikari, who was spared when four Trinamool leaders were recently arrested.
When reporters asked about Suvendu Adhikari, the Chief Minister retorted: “Only those who are sober and those who don’t encourage bitterness are welcome back.”
Ms. Banerjee had said during the election campaigning when she said at a public rally: “Mukul Roy is not a bad as Suvendu Adhikari”.
A founder member of the Trinamool, Mr. Roy was its General Secretary when he quit; the post has now gone to the Chief Minister’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who first reached out to Mr. Roy and his family.
Last week, Abhishek Banerjee visited Mr. Roy at the hospital where his wife is admitted and the next day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi supposedly spoke to Mr. Roy on the phone inquiring about his wife’s health.
The Ghar Wapsi of its leaders, including those who switched just before the April-May Bengal election, is part of the Trinamool’s progressive plan 2024 to avert a repeat of 2019 when the BJP secured significant gains leaving the Trinamool in a precarious position.
It seems Mamata Banerjee wants to “strike while the iron is hot” and in the game of chess, the Trinamool is playing checkmate.