National

Roy quits Trinamool panel; party hands him a six-year suspension

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on January 10, 2018

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May join BJP’s Bengal unit

Fuelling speculation of his exit from the Trinamool Congress, Mukul Roy, one-time confidante of party chief Mamata Banerjee, quit the TMC Working Committee. Roy will also step down as Rajya Sabha MP.

His actions prompted the Trinamool to suspend him for six years, citing “anti-party activities”.

“I have stepped down from the party’s working committee today. My resignation letter has been mailed to the party supremo. And after Durga Puja, I will resign as the Rajya Sabha MP,” he told reporters at a press conference.

Asked if he was quitting the party or not, Roy said: “I will explain my decision post the pujas. This is not the right time.”

Growing animosity

Once considered the Trinamool’s second-in-command, Roy has been having strained ties with its top leaders, especially after his name cropped up in the multi-crore Saradha scam in 2015.

Subsequently, he was removed as the party’s General Secretary, as its leader in the Rajya Sabha and was also side-lined internally.

In fact, rumours of his exit had begun doing the rounds after he floated the Nationalist Trinamool Congress (NTC).

However, Roy returned to the party ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections. This, however, did not put to rest speculation of his alleged hobnobbing with the BJP, nor the fact that he was unhappy with the Trinamool.

In a final showdown, the party censured Roy last week, and said it was “keeping a close watch on him”.

He, however, allegedly broke the party line and was seen attending a puja organised by another suspended Trinamool MP, Kunal Ghosh.

Roy’s action prompted the party to suspend him for six years. According to Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee, Roy had been trying to weaken the party for quite some time now.

“The party’s disciplinary committee has discussed the issue and recommended suspension,” he told reporters. “If he (Roy) wants to leave, why isn’t he leaving now? What is stopping him?” Chatterjee asked.

Joining BJP?

Political circles have for quite some time now been abuzz with Roy’s proximity to senior BJP leaders.

The BJP’s State unit chief Dilip Ghosh had confirmed that Roy had been in touch with the saffron party’s top brass.

Published on September 25, 2017

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