Mukul Roy quits Trinamool, Rajya Sabha membership

New Delhi : Trinamool Congress co-founder Mukul Roy (63), who helped West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee build the party in 1998, quit the party as well as the Rajya Sabha membership on Wednesday, a fortnight after he was suspended for six years for “anti-party activities”.

Camping in Delhi since last week, he met Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to submit his resignation from the House, seven months before completion of his term.

Once considered party chief Mamata Banerjee’s Man Friday and the second-in-command of the party, Roy was suspended on the suspicion of hobnobbing with the BJP. He was sidelined in the party after becoming embroiled in the Saradha case.

Roy, who was the railway minister for seven months in 2011 succeeding Banerjee who shifted to Kolkata as the CM, told reporters at his official residence that he has quit as a Rajya Sabha member of the TMC as also from the party’s primary membership, adding that he was compelled to quit the party “with a heavy heart and heavy pain”.

On a query whether he would be joining BJP, Roy skirted the question, saying he would take a long holiday and then decide what to do.

Speculation of his entry into BJP arose from his meeting with the BJP’s Bengal in-charge general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya at the residence of party vice-president Om Mathur on Monday. He had also met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last week.

Roy also said he has been in touch with the BJP and he also has good equations with Jaitley and feel very comfortable in the BJP company.

“I have been in contact with not only RSS and BJP leaders, but with leaders of all political parties,” he said, asking: “Did we not contest the 1998 elections in a seat deal with the BJP?”

Roy has already formed a new political party called Nationalist Trinamool Congress Party with himself as its president and applied to the Election Commission to register the party. As such, he may prefer to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance as an ally instead of joining the BJP itself.

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Free Press Journal