Mukul Roy quits RS, TMC membership
Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mukul Roy resigned from the party and the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, amid speculation about his next move.
He has been meeting BJP leaders but party sources said there was no decision on his induction in the party immediately.
Roy said he was resigning with a “heavy heart” and insisted that all members in a party “should be comrades and not servants”.
After submitting his resignation to Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, Roy said, “When the TMC was an ally of NDA then Vajpayee was moderate but Advani was hardliner. Modi is good but Amit Shah is communal. These double standards can’t carry on.”
He said the TMC was formed to fight the Congress and if its leaders now think that the country cannot move without the Congress, the two parties should merge.
A former railway minister, Roy, until recently the second in command of the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC, got sidelined with the rising stature of her nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
TMC suspended Roy for six years for “anti-party activities” after his announcement on September 25 that he would resign from the party after Durga Puja.
The CBI had last month questioned Roy in the Narada tapes case, a scandal that has sent many TMC leaders behind the bars.
Roy’s next move is a matter of speculation. He said in 1998, when the TMC had seat sharing arrangement with the saffron party in West Bengal, its leadership had said that BJP is not communal. Roy also met BJP’s Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya in Delhi on Monday.
BJP leaders say no decision has been taken yet on inducting Roy. “Float a party of his own is also an option before him,” a BJP leader said. “Things will shape up in due course of time.”
The BJP is looking to exploit the Mamata-Roy breakup to further weaken the TMC in West Bengal, a state that the BJP is eyeing for 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It wants to use Roy’s links in the TMC to wean away more leaders from Mamata’s party ahead of the next general election.