Kolkata: Senior Trinamool Congress leader and Member of Parliament Mukul Roy quit the party on Monday, fuelling speculation that he might join the BJP.
Roy also said he was leaving the party “with a heavy heart”, since he no longer held a post in the party.
The once-trusted lieutenant, Roy was sidelined by Mamata Banerjee recently and stripped of all posts. He was removed as the party’s vice president and also thrown out of two parliamentary panels.
The difference between Roy and Mamata grew after Roy was grilled by the CBI in the multi-crore Sharada chit fund scam. The party leadership suspected he had “revealed a few secrets” to the investigators.
Roy was also under the party’s watch for his frequent meetings with the BJP leadership in Delhi.
Addressing the media in Kolkata, Roy said: “Today is Mahapanchami. The people of Bengal are celebrating Durga Puja. They would not like to hear about political issues at this time. I will reveal my future plans after the Pujas.”
He added: “My association with the Trinamool began in 1997. With a heavy heart, I inform you that I no longer have any post in the party. I am only a primary member and I belong to the working committee. I am resigning from the working committee today and have sent an email to the party leadership. As soon as Durga Puja ends, I will resign from the Rajya Sabha MP’s post.”
Roy, however, did not disclose the reason behind his resignation.
State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury welcomed Roy’s decision. “Mamata Banerjee has not reached the peak of success on her own or within a day. There were many others, including Mukul Roy, who worked tirelessly for the party. But Mamata Banerjee cannot tolerate the rise of anyone else. In all these years, Roy remained silent despite all humiliation. It is obvious he could not bear it anymore. I would welcome Roy if he joins our party,” Mr Chowdhury added.
On Sunday evening, Roy inaugurated a Durga Puja pandal in the neighbourhood of suspended Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh’s home in north Kolkata. He was contemptuous of party general secretary Partha Chatterjee and referred to him as a kid.