Kolkata: Former Railway Minister of India, Mukul Roy, who was among the first to join Bharatiya Janata Party in 2017, following which around 40 legislators of Trinamool Congress had defected, has returned back to the party that he had founded along with TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.
Mukul’s son, Subrangnshu, a former TMC MLA had joined BJP following his father, has also followed Roy senior’s footstep. The two times MLA had contested on Lotus symbol but lost to TMC in the recently concluded Assembly election.
Three reasons for Mukul’s defection from BJP
Mukul Roy, who played a key role in BJP getting 18 seats for the first time in West Bengal, wanted to become a minister in Narendra Modi cabinet, but he was denied the position. Later, he was given organizational berth and was even made national vice-president. The Krishnanagar MLA, it is learnt, was not interested to contest the 2021 assembly polls, but he was fielded by the party. But, the last setback for Mukul was Suvendu Adhikari being made the Leader of Opposition by BJP and not Roy, who is much senior to Adhikari.
Also, the fact that Adhikari has been given easy access to Home Minister Amit Shah and PM Narendra Modi, which has never been granted to Roy despite the ground work he did for the saffron party, added on to the other reasons for Roy to return back to his former party.
Mukul’s entry is TMC’s part of the 2024 strategy
Abhishek Banerjee, TMC’s Diamond Harbour MP, and nephew of TMC chief has been elevated to the party’s national general secretary position. Soon after the elevation, TMC MP had announced that his responsibility will be to take TMC nationally. Two days prior to his appointment, Abhishek had visited Krishna Roy, wife of Mukul Roy, at a hospital, where she is undergoing Covid treatment. Speculation of Mukul Roy’s home coming began doing the rounds since then, but the fact that it would happen so fast, nobody had assumed.
However, with Roy, who has been a political strategist for TMC in the past, being granted re-entry, it is apparent that TMC has its plant for 2024 general elections ready.
Big loss of face for BJP
Significantly, BJP which was in a rejoicing mood after having inducted Congress leader Jitin Prasada, suffered a major setback within a day, with its National vice-president leaving the party. Political observers believe that at least for Bengal, it is just the beginning, and more than 20 MLA as well as 5-7 BJP MPs can join TMC within a month or so.
The importance of Roy’s Ghar Wapasi can be estimated from the fact that both Abhishek and Mamata Banerjee were resent during his induction at Trinamool Bhavan and later TMC supremo had also conducted a press conference to announce the news.
This development has a national significance too, says political analyst Rasheed Kidwai while talking to eNewsroom. He said, “Defections are bad for parliamentary democracy. The gain and loss in real terms is a poor reflection of the political character of the party. For instance, it can be argued that Mukul Roy’s return to the TMC is a bigger blow to the BJP than Jitin Prasada’s induction.”