Express News Service
KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee’s decision to welcome BJP’s national vice-president Mukul Roy’s ‘ghar wapsi’ on Friday appears to be more focused on causing damage to the saffron camp than strengthening her own party.
Sources in the ruling party said the induction of TMC’s former second-in-command, the first blow to the BJP since its poor performance in the recent Assembly elections, would deliver a message for others who defected to the saffron camp. “Many TMC leaders jumped ship and became prominent BJP faces. Roy’s return to the TMC will deliver a message to the turncoats which includes at least three MPs and several MLAs of the BJP,” said a senior TMC leader.
Bringing the saffron camp’s “Chanakya” back to its fold, the ruling party is now aiming to shake the BJP’s foundation in Bengal which already received a jolt in the recent Assembly elections. The saffron camp emerged as the TMC’s only opposition in the Assembly polls. It bagged 77 seats, much behind the party’s projection of more than 200 seats, and the Left Front and Congress have no representative in the state Assembly. The newly-formed Indian Secular Force, an ally of LF-Congress, secured victory in only one constituency. In a landslide victory, the TMC bagged 213 seats in the House of 294 MLAs.
“The triumphant performance of the TMC was without Roy, who used to be known for managing elections. Our party has nothing to gain by inducting Roy but it will damage the BJP organisational setup. It was Roy who had poached many of our leaders on behalf of the saffron camp. It is expected that those who followed Roy’s footprint will shortly make a beeline to return to the TMC,” said another TMC leader.
The ruling party, however, is yet to make a decision about other turncoats willing to return to the TMC. “Mamata Banerjee will take the final decision. She will decide whether all turncoats will be allowed to rejoin the party or they will be inducted selectively,” said the leader.
Since Roy had shifted his political allegiance to the BJP in 2017, a total of 33 TMC MLAs joined the BJP and the exodus continued till before the Assembly elections held in March-April. Roy’s return to the TMC is the first defection from the saffron camp since the election.