Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee termed it as the ‘homecoming of the prodigal son’. Mukul Roy himself said, ‘I am fed up with the BJP, I do not want to be a part of the BJP anymore and so I have returned’ to the Trinamool Congress (TMC). Well emotions went literally out of control as BJP all-India vice-president quit the saffron party and returned to his roots, the Trinamool Congress, Friday evening. There were hugs, handshakes and greetings of the fist as Trinamool Congress All India secretary Abhishek Banerjee draped the TMC ‘uttariyo’ (shawl) around the shoulder of Roy. Other than various top TMC leaders, one of the most senior most ministers Subrata Mukherjee was also present during Roy’s homecoming.
Earlier in the day as the drama unfolded quickly Roy left his home for the Trinamool Congress (TMC) headquarters here Friday afternoon. There has been speculation in the last few days that Mukul Roy might return to the ruling party in West Bengal. Roy is a former second-in-command of the TMC who joined the saffron party in November 2017. He has been distancing himself from the BJP for the last several days.
Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee also left her Kalighat residence. Heightened security measures were noticed at the Trinamool Congress Bhavan off the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass here.
Asked by reporters where he was going as he left his home, Roy answered ‘Trinamool Bhavan’.
In the past few days, there has been enough indication of Roy’s ‘ghar wapsi’ (return to home). Sources close to the North Krishnanagar Assembly constituency have said that Roy is unhappy with the way the party is giving importance to ‘new’ recruit Suvendu Adhikari. In the past few days, Roy has been conducting frequent meetings with his close coterie.
The sources said Roy had told close associates about feeling ‘suffocated’ in the BJP. His frustration was amplified by the BJP’s defeat in the Bengal election. The former Trinamool MP (Rajya Sabha) has concluded that the BJP’s political culture and ethos is alien to Bengal. So it is doomed to remain an ‘outsider’ in the foreseeable future.
“No one has their finger on the pulse of the people like Mamata Banerjee,” sources close to Roy said quoting the leader. “Certainly not the BJP or those who have jumped from the Trinamool Congress before the elections,” Roy is known to have reportedly told his followers.
Roy’s resentment has also grown because he has not got the importance that is due to him after the BJP did exceedingly well in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. BJP won 18 seats and became a formidable force in West Bengal. Many believe that it was Roy’s planning which led to the saffron party achieving substantial gains. However, since then his opinions have not been given much weight within the party.