In a major blow for the BJP, the saffron party’s first import from the Trinamool Congress in Bengal and its national vice president, Mukul Roy, on Friday returned to TMC ending weeks of speculations. His son, Shubhranshu, also returned to TMC. He was felicitated by TMC MP and Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee at the TMC headquarters.
Roy, a founder member of the party, drove to the Trinamool Bhawan and walked into his room that he left in 2017. He reached the party headquarters an hour in advance.
On return of Roy, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also the party supremo, said, “Ghorer chhele ghore phirlo (Mukul Roy has returned home).” She also asserted that unlike others, Mukul was never a traitor.
Mukul Roy said, “I feel great at seeing my old colleagues, after leaving the BJP. I cannot be in the BJP.” He described Mamata Banerjee as “the only leader of Bengal and India”. On being questioned about his repeated attacks on Banerjee in the past, Roy said that he never had any differences with “didi”.
Abhishek Banerjee last week visited Roy at the hospital where his wife is admitted. The very next day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly spoke to Roy on the phone to ask after his wife’s health, reflecting the BJP’s nervousness.
The homecoming of its leaders, including those who switched just before the April-May Bengal election, is part of the Trinamool’s forward planning for 2024. Its goal is to prevent a repeat of 2019, when the BJP scored big gains at the Trinamool’s cost.
Many BJP leaders want to return to TMC
Several leaders who left the Trinamool Congress to join BJP are queuing up to again join TMC. Notably, before the polls, these TMC turncoats, including MLAs and MPs, made a beeline to join BJP hoping that the party will win the polls. With so many leaders leaving the TMC, political experts had said that the party will collapse due to the exodus.
However, the result was exactly the opposite, with TMC registering a thumping victory winning 213 of the 292 Assembly seats where elections were held. The BJP that was confident to secure at least 200 seats in the Bengal polls could manage to win only 77 seats. Its tally further went down with two BJP MPs, who had contested and won the Assembly polls, tendering their resignation to continue in the Lok Sabha.
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