Ending weeks of speculation, Mukul Roy, the BJP’s first big catch from Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in Bengal, returned to his former party on Friday (June 11) along with son Shubhranshu. “Ghorer chhele ghore phirlo (Mukul has returned home),” said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, adding he was never a “traitor like the others”.
“I feel great at seeing my old colleagues, after leaving the BJP. I can’t be in the BJP,” said Roy, and described the Chief Minister as “the only leader of Bengal and India.”
On his repeated attacks on ‘Didi’ in the past, Roy said: “I never had any differences with Mamata Banerjee.” Roy drove to the Trinamool Bhawan an hour before the press conference and reportedly walked to his old room in the building that he left in 2017.
“I will give you a detailed response for the reasons why I have returned, but I will say this that I will never return to BJP and I will never be with them,” Roy said.
Trinamool Congress leaders hinted that more leaders were due to return to the party.
Mukul Roy, a founder member of the Trinamool, was the party general secretary when he quit. The post went to the Chief Minister’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
The Trinamool plans to win back its leaders who went to the saffron camp before the April-May Assembly elections. The party’s strategy is aimed at 2024 parliamentary polls and avoiding a repeat of 2019, when the BJP made big gains.
Mamata had indicated such a homecoming during her campaigning for the state election. “Mukul Roy is not a bad as Suvendu Adhikari is”.
Mukul Roy was a big catch for the BJP, who sparked hopes of a political coup in Bengal. The 2019 Lok Sabha polls showed impressive results for the BJP. Sources say Mukul Roy had told close aides about feeling “suffocated” in the party. After BJP’s defeat in Bengal polls this May, the former Trinamool MP came to realize that the BJP was doomed to remain an “outsider” in the foreseeable future.