Kolkata: Mukul Roy, a far bigger catch for the BJP in Bengal than Jitin Prasada in the cow belt, has retraced his steps and returned to the TMC fold.
It is understood that several other ‘turncoats’ are waiting in the wings to cross over, once they are assured of their political rehabilitation within the TMC.
Welcoming Roy back in the TMC, whom she had studiously avoided heckling during the poll campaign, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is smug in the belief that the BJP’s bluff has been called; at least the people have seen through the ‘hype’ that the party had recreated as part of a well-crafted strategy.
“Mukul was intimidated by the Central agencies and forcibly kept in the Bharatiya Janata Party. He and I never had any differences and when he expressed his desire to return, we welcomed him,” claimed the TMC Supremo.
Mukul, who was in Mamata’s inner circle, had defected to the BJP on November 2017 after his name surfaced in the Saradha ponzi scam and the Narada bribery case. No sooner did he defect, the TMC leaders had claimed that Mukul had done so to secure a clean chit in the scams.
Incidentally, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee welcomed Mukul and his son Subhrangshu back into the party. Said Mukul, “Nobody can stay in the BJP. I am overwhelmed to return to my family and colleagues. Mamata Banerjee is a national leader and with her the TMC will reach new heights.”
Clearing the air on whether there will be other homecomings, Banerjee said that those who had defected to the BJP ahead of the polls and maligned the TMC had gone beyond a point of no return.
Mukul has the reputation of being the ‘Chanakya’ of West Bengal politics and is responsible for the ascendance of the TMC in the state. The BJP has clearly overplayed its hand and was finding it difficult to accommodate the TMC heavyweights since it is no longer in power, preferring to put all its eggs in the Suvendhu Adhikari basket.
According to TMC sources, BJP leader Sabyasachi Dutta, former West Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee and Abhijit Mukherjee, son of former President Pranab Mukherjee, are likely to defect in Round II. The wheel has turned a full circle and just in time for the state panchayat polls.