VETERAN BJP leader and Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy said he is keen to return to mainstream politics in West Bengal, and will consider being the chief minister candidate if the BJP decides so.
“I expressed my desire to make a comeback into West Bengal’s mainstream politics ahead of the state Assembly election. I am ready to take any responsibilities — whatever my party will think I am suitable for. If my party decides that I am a fit candidate for the post of chief minister, obviously, I shall consider it,” Roy told The Indian Express over phone.
On Tuesday, Satya Pal Malik, Governor of Goa, was shifted as Governor of Meghalaya, replacing Roy who completed five years in gubernatorial posts. He served as Governor of Tripura for three years and the remaining in Meghalaya.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshyari has been asked to discharge the functions of Goa governor in addition to his own duties.
Roy, who turns 75 next month, had stoked a controversy last year when he supported a tweet by a retired Army official calling for banning of Kashmiri goods in the aftermath of an attack on a CRPF convoy that killed 40 security personnel.
“An appeal from a retired colonel of the Indian Army: Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath for the next 2 years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri. I am inclined to agree,” Roy had tweeted.
As news of the appointment reached Shillong, Roy tweeted, “Upon receipt of news from Rashtrapati Bhavan I spoke to Shri Satyapal Malikji, the new Governor-Designate and welcomed him to Shillong. It may take him a little time to come here.” Roy said, “I was supposed to have been relieved on 20th May. Now the end of the road is in sight!”
However, the former BJP state president said he did whatever his party asked him. “I never wanted to be a Governor. But, when the party said, I went by the decision of leadership. Now, I expressed to the party central leadership to make a comeback in West Bengal politics. Tomorrow, I may go to Delhi and meet some central leaders and after that will take further decisions.”
“I have no problem with the present leadership of Bengal. So, I have no problem in taking any responsibility,” he said.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said on Tuesday, “Many former Governors came back in mainstream politics. If the party decides, he will also make a comeback.” —With ENS, Guwahati