A day after he was rendered “irrelevant” in the party by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy Sunday said he was waiting for the opportune time to speak his heart.
Asked by The Indian Express on whether he was still in the party or he had applied for registration of a new political party to the Election Commission, Roy said in the morning: “Thanks for calling. I will reply to your questions at the right time. At present I am watching India-Pakistan match. But I will let you know my next course of action only after some time.’’
On Saturday, Mamata took serious umbrage at Roy’s absence from a meeting of district unit presidents at her residence and soon after that his wings were clipped. While party MP Subrata Bakshi was made additional general secretary, Roy was divested of all charges of looking after party units in other states.
Mamata also promoted former Union minister Dinesh Trivedi to the vice-president’s post in a bid to counter Roy in Delhi. He was incidentally in Delhi on Sunday to attend the wedding reception of BJP chief Amit Shah’s son.
Roy on Sunday came to his Nizam Palace office, which was thronged by his supporters who were carrying placards saying “Dada, aamra tomar songe achhi (Dada, we are with you)”. Visibly overwhelmed, Roy told them to remain calm and not to say or do anything that could provoke the party leadership to take any step against them.
Sources said Mamata had called Roy in the morning and asked him about his whereabouts, to which he replied that he was busy with party work. They claimed the two talked for about five minutes.
Later talking to reporters, Roy said: “The party is expanding and so more people are needed to run the affairs. The people who have been given new assignments not only know Bengal, but they know India too.’’
Interestingly, he is leaving for Delhi on Monday, the day when results of by-elections on Bongaon parliamentary seat and Krishnagunj assembly seat would be out.
Meanwhile, a section of Trinamool Congress MPs appeared to be gearing up for the party without Mukul Roy. “If he leaves now he will have to cope with the anti-defection law. Let us see what he does,’’ said a senior MP who requested anonymity.
Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, MP, who has been included in the newly-formed three-member national secretariat, said in the party no other individual than Mamata mattered. “The Trinamool Congress is the product of a movement which took shape to protest against the misrule and oppression of the Marxists. And people joined the movement under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee. It does not matter who leaves the movement,’’ the MP from Barasat told The Indian Express.
The Congress is watching these developments with great amusement.
“Mukul seems to be waiting when Mamata expels him. But she is not doing that. It is high drama going on there,’’ Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury, West Bengal Pradesh Congress president, said.