Now, even as his party is making placatory noises — TMC spokesman Derek O’Brien has said the party is no longer compiling a list of transgressions — Roy seems to have decided to hit back. And the man who is bearing the brunt of his anger is O’Brien, who recently replaced Roy as leader of the party in Rajya Sabha.
The former quizmaster, who has risen steadily within the party ranks, now occupies the front row in the Upper House while Roy has been relegated to the last seat along with the likes of first timer Dola Sen. The West Bengal unit of Congress has spoken of Roy’s overtures to them. However, the TMC leader has not commented on such reports.
“Who is O’Brien? What is his locus standi in the party? He does not know A,B, C of politics. There is no question of my responding to anything he says. If you have to ask about me, go and ask Mamata Banerjee,” Roy told The Indian Express.
The outburst against O’Brien may mean that in the party’s changed power equations, Roy no longer visualises a place for himself. Most of his designations have already been redistributed. The party started distancing itself from Roy after the CBI interrogated him in connection with the Saradha scam. He was replaced by Lok Sabha MP Subrata Bakshi as TMC general secretary.
The Trinamool rethink on Roy came after it swept the civic elections in West Bengal. The results proved as unfounded apprehensions in the party brass that Roy was trying to queer the pitch. Also, the move to stop compiling the dossier against Roy comes at a time of apparent bonhomie between Mamata and PM Narendra Modi.