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Former Trinamool leader Mukul Roy quits Rajya Sabha

Mukul Roy after announcing his resignation from Trinamool Congress in Kolkata on September 25, 2017.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Former Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy resigned from the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and gave up the primary membership of the party saying that “we are comrades in party and not servants”.

“One-person party is not good for the country. At this moment a national party is required for country’s betterment,” he said at press conference.

Mr Roy, who was unhappy with elevation of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee’s elevation in the party, said that “dynasty politics is hurting all political parties” in the country.

He evaded pointed questions on Abhishek Banerjee, saying just that “all one-man party are run this way”.

Asked why did not he raise the voice within the Trinamool Congress, the 63-year-old leader, who also served as Railway Minister, said the atmosphere was not right in the party to raise such issues.

Mr. Roy said that since its inception, the party supported the BJP till 2007 and then were a part of the United Progressive Alliance government from 2009 to 2012. “The party [Trinamool] was formed to fight the Congress. If the Trinamool leadership now feels that the country cannot run without the Congress, I would suggest that they should merge with the Congress,” he said.

'BJP is not a communal party'

While he did not disclose his future plans, he made clear hints that the BJP cannot be described as a “communal party”.

“I haven’t yet decided to join any party or float a new political entry,” he said.

In last few months Mr. Roy has had series of meetings with Finance Minister Arun Jaitely and General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. “There is no question of bargaining. I have good relations with both Mr Vijayvargiya and Mr Jaitely,” he said.

While, he stopped short of confirming that he would officially join BJP, he did put up a spirited defence of the party. In 1998, Trinamool Congress had a seat sharing arrangement with BJP in West Bengal.  “On that day we said BJP is not communal,” he said.

The TMC fought the next elections as NDA partners. Ms. Banerjee has handled Coal and Railways as a minister in NDA cabinet.

“In fact, till 2007 we were with the NDA. In 2009, TMC joined UPA-2, but within few years we left it on flimsy grounds. From 2012-2014 we were in fact the main opposition party against Congress both inside and outside Parliament,” he recalled.

“Since, 2014, TMC is claiming that country can’t be run without Congress. We sound this party to fight against Congress and if TMC today feels it can’t do without them, then why don’t they merge with Congress,” he said.

Waving registration papers of the party, Mr Roy went on a trip down memory lane, insisting that it was he who started the party which Ms Banerjee joined at a later date. “On 17 December 1997, the party was registered under 29 (A) of Representation of People Act 1951. I was the first signatory. On 24 December 1997, when Mamata Banerjee was expelled from Congress, I was the one to inform Election Commission about her joining TMC,” he said.

Trinamool hits back

The Trinamool leadership was quick to respond, saying that the very day after he was questioned by the CBI he was maintaining a close touch with the BJP.

Party leader Partha Chatterjee said. “We wanted to run the party as a zamindar [landlord]. We are happy that the party has been rid of his presence.”

On Mr. Roy’s remarks on dynasty politics, he said that Mr. Roy’s son, Subhranshu, is an MLA only because his father is a politician.

Mr. Subhranshu Roy has said he is not leaving the Trinamool.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 12:38:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mukul-roy-quits-trinamool-congress-rajya-sabha/article19839434.ece

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