June 13, 2021 4:07:04 am
A day after senior leader Mukul Roy jumped the BJP ship, party leader Rajib Banerjee on Saturday met TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, giving rise to speculation that he may too be heading for a return.
The former TMC minister, who lost the Domjur assembly seat, termed the meeting a courtesy call and defended his recent social media post criticising his party.
“I came to North Kolkata to meet with a ailing relative. Since Kunal Ghosh, my senior brother and a long time friend, resided nearby, I called him up and met him. It was a courtesy call. There was no political discussion,” said Banerjee.
“I have joined BJP in January. Then was busy with the polls, today, I found some time,” Banerjee added.
When asked about his recent social media post highlighting that BJP should not talk about Article 356 of the Constitution (which provide for presidential rule) and allow an elected government to work, Banerjee said he stood by the remarks.
“I have some reservations about certain issues in my party. I stand by it and have already told my party about it,” added Banerjee.
Meanwhile, one of Roy’s aides resigned from his party post and another supported the former BJP national vice-president’s exit.
BJP leader and former TMC MLA Sunil Singh said, “Mukul Roy is a big leader. Three and a half years back, he had left the Trinamool Congress and joined the BJP. Now he is back in the Trinamool Congress. I had joined the Trinamool Congress from the Congress holding Mukul Roy’s hand. Later I joined the BJP. Let’s see what happens in the future.”
Known to be close to Roy, BJP’s Bongaon vice-president (organisational) Tapan Sinha submitted his resignation from the post.
“After the elections there was violence. As a party leader, I could not do anything to help workers. I could not work. I do not want to blame anyone. If I cannot work, there is no need for me to stay with the post. I do not know what will happen in the future,” said Sinha.
BJP’s Bagda MLA Biswajit Das, a TMC rebel, on Friday skipped an organisational meeting in North 24 parganas chaired by state president Dilip Ghosh.
On Saturdaym speaking to mediapersons, Das said, “I have good relations with Mukul Roy as well as Abhishek Banerjee. I will talk about my future course of action later. I did not attend the meeting because it was held in the house of a person who was involved with illegal activities. How can they hold a meeting there? As far as Mukul Roy is concerned, he is a big leader,” said Das.
Meanwhile, Ghosh reiterated that Roy’s exit, who was BJP’s national vice-president, would not harm the party.
“When he left the Trinamool Congress, they said there will be no harm to the party. When he left the BJP then how can that be a loss for the party? Some people have made it a habit of changing political parties. Right now, our party workers are under attack in the state and we are busy providing relief to them,” said Dilip Ghosh.
Former MLAs like Sonali Guha and Dipendu Biswas have made public appeals to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, seeking her pardon and wishing to return to the TMC.