Mukul Roy quits RS, TMC mem­ber­ship

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Nation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

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.

Mukul Roy

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