Mamata pushes Mukul farther, pulls Dinesh, Bakshi closer

Roy had recently said that he was part and parcel of the party, when asked if there was a rift between him and the party leadership.

By: Press Trust of India Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata | Updated: February 15, 2015 12:44:18 am
mukul roy, tmc, saradha scam, mamata banerjee Mukul Roy, who has been made to share responsibility as all-India general secretary with Bakshi, a staunch Mamata loyalist, was conspicuous by his absence from the closed-door meeting. (File Photo)

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday divested her once-close aide Mukul Roy, the party’s all India general secretary, of several key responsibilities. The decision was taken at a TMC core committee meeting wherein she also appointed Subrata Bakshi additional general secretary for the party and redistributed responsibilities among other members.

Banerjee appointed former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi the all-India vice-president of the party. There were reports that Trivedi was disgruntled in the party and was heard praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a programme in Gujarat. There was also buzz that he could join the BJP. In a bid to placate him, Mamata made Trivedi the in-charge of by-polls in North 24 Parganas.

Roy, meanwhile, skipped the core committee meeting in which discussions were held on the upcoming municipal body elections. While Roy remains the all-India general secretary, Bakshi’s appointment was described within the party as a “process of removing Roy since his name has been entangled in the Saradha scam”.

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At the meeting, Mamata made her displeasure at Roy’s “absence” known. “I will henceforth look after everything. I used to depend on Mukul for many crucial party matters but it was totally improper not to attend today’s meeting. This is not done,” she said.

Party secretary general Partha Chatterjee termed the day’s developments as a “restructuring process in the party to augment its growing national clout and importance”.

All TMC senior leaders and district presidents were present in the meeting held at Mamata’s Kalighat residence. The restructuring also saw Roy losing charge of the North-East and National region.

While Subrata Mukherjee has been given the charge of Tripura, Suvendu Adhikari has been deputed as the in-charge in Assam. Derek O’Brien, national spokesperson and chief whip of the party in the Rajya Sabha, will oversee the party’s organisation in North-East and Kerala.

“Derek O’Brien and Kalyan Banerjee will also keep in touch with like-minded parties,” added Chatterjee. TMC sources said O’Brien had been trying to ally with the AAP to build a front against the BJP in parliament. “O’Brien, Firhad Hakim and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar have also been elevated to a new body that will function as TMC’s National Secretariat,” said Chatterjee.

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