The BJP is about to lose Mukul Roy, its first import from Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in Bengal, who had fanned hopes of a political coup in the state, even delivered in the 2019 national election, but has lately felt “suffocated” and “sidelined”.
Mukul Roy is set to return to the Trinamool Congress shortly, sources say. The high-profile homecoming is expected to take place at Trinamool Bhavan at 3 pm, where the Chief Minister’s office has scheduled a press meet.
Sources say Mukul Roy had told close associates about feeling “suffocated” in the party that he joined in 2017. His frustration was amplified by the BJP’s defeat in the Bengal election.
The former Trinamool MP has concluded, say sources, that the BJP’s political culture and ethos is alien to Bengal and it is doomed to remain an “outsider” in the foreseeable future.
“No one has their finger on their pulse of the people like Mamata Banerjee,” sources close to Mukul Roy said quoting the leader as saying. “Certainly not the BJP or those who have jumped from Trinamool,” he reportedly said.
His resentment is believed to be directed at Suvendu Adhikari, another Mamata Banerjee aide who quickly became the BJP’s most favoured after he joined the party in December. The BJP has invested heavily in Mr Adhikari, whose victory over Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram turned out to be the only solace for the party in an otherwise disastrous outing.
Sources say many former Trinamool leaders who followed Mr Adhikari before the Bengal election want to come back.
But after Mukul Roy, the Trinamool will “shut down the lockgates”, sources say.
Mukul Roy’s “Ghar Wapsi” or homecoming has dominated speculation in Bengal for weeks, ever since the state election results that returned Mamata Banerjee to power with a landslide against the BJP’s challenge.
The buzz intensified last week when Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Mamata Banerjee and a key leader of her party, visited Mr Roy at the hospital where his wife is admitted. The very next day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly spoke to Mr Roy on the phone to ask after his wife’s health.
Mr Roy’s silence and his absence from a key BJP meet in Kolkata were seen to be big hints that the reports were true.
On Wednesday evening, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy told NDTV: “There are many people who are in touch with Abhishek Banerjee and they want to come back. I feel they betrayed the party in a time of need.”
syndicated from NDTV