Trinamool tries to distance itself from Mukul Roy, says he remains a BJP legislator

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With veteran Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy in New Delhi and insisting on meeting top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party president J.P. Nadda, the West Bengal ruling party has tried to distance itself from Mr. Roy.  Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that Mr. Roy remains a BJP MLA.

“It is a small matter (Mukul Roy’s visit to New Delhi). It is better to ignore. His son has filed a missing case that is a serious matter,” the Chief Minister said,

Speaking to a Bengali news channel ABP Ananda in New Delhi, Mr. Roy said that he has come to Delhi on his own free will and he will try to meet top BJP leaders so that he can work for the party. Mr. Roy looked a little out of sync when asked about his next plans. “This is the high time that somebody has to stand against the CPI(M),” the veteran leader said. When reminded that he had joined the Trinamool Congress, the 69-year-old politician said, “One cannot defeat Trinamool Congress while remaining in the Trinamool”.

Mr. Roy admitted that he has not informed his family but emphasised that he was in New Delhi on his own free will. “I was not keeping well for quite some time, so I was away from politics. But right now, I am fine and would again be active in politics,” he said, adding that he was “100% confident that he would never be associated with the Trinamool Congress”.

Even before the Chief Minister dubbed the Mr. Roy visit to Delhi as a “small matter” Trinamool Congress spokespersons were trying to distance from Mukul Roy.

“Trinamool Congress has a lot of other pressing issues. Mukul Roy is not such an issue for us. BJP can do whatever it likes,” party spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said. Another party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen said that it appears that Mukul Roy is “not physically and mentally fit and he is not sure of what he is saying”. The Trinamool has also rebuffed Mr. Roy’s son Subhrangshu Roy who had alleged that it was a conspiracy to target Trinamool leader Abhishek Banerjee by taking Mukul Roy to Delhi.

Mr. Roy reportedly went missing on April 17 evening and later in the evening was seen at Delhi airport. Subhrangshu Roy, who is a former Trinamool Congress MLA, said that his father was suffering from a number of health issues, including dementia, and filed a missing complaint at a police station in Kolkata.

Mr. Roy, one of founding members of Trinamool Congress, was the second most important leader of the party till 2017 when he joined the BJP. Mr. Roy played a crucial role in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and BJP won 18 of the 42 seats. Mr. Roy returned to Trinamool Congress in June 2021 a month after he was elected to West Bengal Assembly on a BJP ticket. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present at Trinamool party office on June 11, 2021, when Mr. Roy returned to the party.

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