Why Mukul matters to Mamata

The party whose prospective functionaries were routinely seen in Roy’s South Avenue flat along with a handful of suspended Trinamool MLAs suddenly seems to have hit a speed-breaker.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Updated: December 11, 2015 12:14 pm
Mamata Banerjee, Mukul Roy, Trinamool Congress, TMC, west bengal, beyond the news, explained Mukul Roy and Mamata Banerjee

For the last 10 months Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and her one time lieutenant Mukul Roy have never been in the same room. If on Wednesday night they shared a meal at the home of Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek – the man thought to be instrumental in the increasing estrangement between the two leaders – there may have been many reasons for it. And probably the least in that is Roy’s famed prowess as an organisation man.

It may have to do with the fact that the registration of the Nationalist Trinamool Congress with the Election Commission of India is in its last stages. The party whose prospective functionaries were routinely seen in Roy’s South Avenue flat along with a handful of suspended Trinamool MLAs suddenly seems to have hit a speed-breaker. Interestingly, though both sides took every care to make the Central Hall meet-and-greet and the dinner later that night impromptu, Trinamool insiders have been hinting at a possible easing of tension for some time now, with one MP even setting December 20 as a deadline for a possible reconciliation.

There were admittedly concerns within the Trinamool about the Nationalist Trinamool becoming a rallying point for not just Mukul loyalists but also for other disgruntled elements within the party. Ahead of a crucial assembly election next year, and in the face of evidently diminishing currency of the BJP Mamata, shrewd strategist that she is, would clearly not like to open a new flank.

Speaking about his meeting with Banerjee, Roy said on Thursday: “ I am am MP of the Trinamool Congress. I was never thrown out of the party, nor did I resign from it. What is to speculate about my meeting with the party chief? We have not met in the last ten months. It happens sometimes that there are differences between two people and with time those differences gradually recede into the background and things become clearer. But nothing really has changed.” The two, according to Roy spoke about “old times” during dinner.

Roy may claim there is nothing to speculate but a 10-month hiatus in relations between two people who used to speak to each other several times every day – in fact one of the criticisms of Roy when he was railway minister in UPA II was that he spent so much time in Kolkata and the ministry work suffered – has seen many changes in the organisation of the party. The prospect of a comeback of Roy is hardly palatable for many who have risen fast in a Trinamool Congress minus Mukul Roy.

The reasons for Mamata’s olive branch and Roy’s acceptance of it may also rest in the fact that in these last few months Roy has been in talks with parties across the spectrum. Congress gave him conflicting signals and despite several meetings with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi nothing in the nature of a rehabilitation in the BJP could be carved out. Roy of course has always maintained that too much should not be read much the meetings. “I am even now awaiting an appointment with the prime minister for some work of my own,” he says.

But Mamata about whom Roy had once said that “she does not take one step without thinking” has clearly decided to keep both her rival political parties and Mukul’s own loyalists guessing. The optics is the biggest takeaway in the story of the Mamata-Mukul reconcilation.

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  1. A
    arc
    Dec 11, 2015 at 8:52 am
    "she (Mamata) doesn't take one step without thinking. Always the wrong step -- wrong for west Bengal anyway. But I am with her in stopping bigots, illeterates and uncouth sanghi goons lije Modi.
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      Rajesh
      Dec 11, 2015 at 8:36 am
      Dont be surprised. Hatred of BJP and Modi can make these beggars do miracles.
      Reply
      1. G
        gopa
        Dec 11, 2015 at 10:04 am
        TMC, like the congies, are wetting their pants in fear of Modi.
        Reply
      2. W
        William
        Dec 11, 2015 at 9:29 pm
        Don't think that Mamata Benerjee is so dangerous to rule the State? Someone at her back are trying to split TMC and sabotage the prospects of Mamata ji in coming elections. When compared to other CM's she is far better in all respects than others. Let her continue for another period.
        Reply
        1. B
          b j
          Dec 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm
          Mamta shall spoil the Bengal. There won't be any progress. she is pro- muslim and as such encouraging anti-Nationals in a big way.CPM was much better and sooner people shall remember good old days of CPM. Bengal does't require such a whimsical leader
          Reply
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            RameshRaghuvanshi
            Dec 11, 2015 at 10:23 am
            She is whimsical can do any thing without thinking take decision abruptly She is emotionally unbalanced.She is por because emotional people of Bengal are like her whimsical behavior. they sing same tune.Just wait by her behavior she will financially doom Bengal within year
            Reply
            1. S
              sanjay
              Dec 11, 2015 at 9:34 am
              Mamta has a communal and corrupt mindset. She should be defeated. Left was anyway better then her.
              Reply
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                Saroop Chattopadhyay
                Dec 11, 2015 at 12:55 pm
                Mukul didn't said anything against Trinamool in past ten months and of course he is a Trinamool MP, so why can't party supremo meet him? All these differences are only propaa hypes made by media. Remember Didi is now one of the best leader in the country in spite of leftist media's anti-propaa
                Reply
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