#West Bengal #Mukul Roy # Trinamool Congress #BJP
The ‘Battle for Bengal’ gets interesting with he joining BJP
Shabina Akhtar | Caravan Daily
KOLKATA — A huge crowd gathering at the Shahid Minar had a familiar face addressing them. But, there is a change.
The speaker, in question, Mukul Roy, was not speaking in favour of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. On the contrary, the fangs were out, biting deeper into the party supremo, with whom he had once laid the foundation of the Trinamool Congress.
Displaying documents in his hands, Mukul, who was once the second-in-command of TMC, made a series of allegations, right from calling the political party a private limited company to questioning the reality of Biswa Bangla, to levelling charges of other kind on Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee.
Roy’s first public meeting after his induction into the BJP was critically important. This rally was an acid test for him, as it would actually make the saffron party gauge what political leverage Roy would be able to give to party, which is desperately trying to emerge strongly in Bengal.
many feel that Roy’s induction could backfire, as he is the key accused in the Sharada Chitfund scam and BJP had openly criticised him for the same
According to political analyst, Biswanath Chakraborty, Mukul changing his political alignment, will not have an immediate effect on TMC. However, he feels that BJP could have an advantage in the long run. He said: “BJP, in Bengal lacks an election strategist. Mukul clearly has a place that he can fit in. TMC as a party has definitely benefited from his strategies. He definitely will emerge to be an asset for the BJP.”
However, many feel that Roy’s induction could backfire, as he is the key accused in the Sharada Chitfund scam and BJP had openly criticised him for the same. “Mukul is a man with vested interests. He has switched gears for his own personal gains and not for the reasons he cited during the rally. How come BJP, which speaks of being corruption-free, inducted him into its fold? Don’t they know his history,” said a TMC party worker, speaking on condition of anonymity.
With Roy, pointing guns directly on TMC supremo, the party is in no mood to take things lightly. During the rally, he had alleged that TMC’s slogan – Maa, Maati, Manush (Mother, Land and People) has been registered under in Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee’s name and also that Biswa Bangal was not a government entity but a private company owned by Banerjee.
On Monday, Banerjee sent a defamation notice to Roy for the allegation he made during the public meet. Following which, TMC youth wing, also organised a rally at the same venue, next day, to take on Roy’s allegations.
Roy’s addition to the BJP has definitely spiced up the political scenario of Bengal. Now, the BJP has a seasoned leader, who can eventually become the face that it has been looking out to project to the people. However, his addition has definitely caused cracks and internal rivalry within the party. Dilip Ghosh, BJP’s state president, had recently called Roy, “chutney” implying that Roy’s role is nothing more than spicing things up.
In the face of hostility, his adaptability will be the key for survival n BJP. “How the BJP leaders at state level accepts Roy will definitely pave the way for other political leaders seeking a switch. If Roy’s transition is smooth, BJP will get many more leaders from Congress, CPI (M) and TMC,” he asserted.