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TMC suspends Mukul Roy for six years after he announces decision to quit party

“The party is united and we have full confident in the leadership of Mamata Banerjee. The party is not about an individual. It is about our team under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee,” Trinamool Congress Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said.

Written by Santanu Chowdhury | Kolkata |
Updated: September 25, 2017 11:19:36 pm
mukul roy news, mamata banerjee news, india news, indian express news TMC leader Mukul Roy. (Source: File photo)

Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy resigned from the party working committee on Monday, and announced that he would quit the Rajya Sabha and the party’s primary membership after Durga Puja. Soon after, the Trinamool suspended him for six years for indulging in “anti-party” activities. Announcing Roy’s suspension, Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee alleged that Roy was colluding with the BJP.

“For the last few years Roy has indulged in anti-party activities and tried to weaken the party. The disciplinary committee of Trinamool recommended punishment of Roy to party chairperson Mamata Banerjee and Roy has been suspended from the party for six years,” Chatterjee said at a news conference. At another press conference, Roy said, “I was the one who was the first to sign when Trinamool was formed in December 17, 1997. With a heavy heart today, I have decided to separate myself from the party. I will reveal the reasons after the Durga Puja.”

He said, “Now I am only a working committee member, apart from a Rajya Sabha MP. I sent an email this morning informing of my decision to step down from the working committee. I shall resign from Rajya Sabha immediately after the pujas. About eight months are left for my tenure in the Upper House. At the same I will also leave primary membership of the party. This is the time of the pujas and none will be interested in petty politics. So I will explain my decision in detail later. He added that he would spend the next few days celebrating Durga Puja.

Accusing Roy of working against the party, Chatterjee said, “Under pressure from central agencies and to suit his personal interest, he has tried to weaken the party in a pre-planned manner. He was also colluding with the BJP. However, we are concerned about our own party and not the party that is Roy’s next destination.” He added, “Roy indulged in anti-party activities for the last few years. He should be grateful to Mamata Banerjee for making him an MP and Union Railways Minister. What else does he want?”

Chatterjee said that Roy had been speaking against the party for the last few days, especially after he was told to stop “hobnobbing with the BJP”. “He has desired to leave the party and resign from the Rajya Sabha after the puja. We have only said that if he has desired to do it, then he should do it right now,” Chatterjee said. “The party is united and we have full confidence in the leadership of Banerjee. The party is not about an individual. It is about our team under the leadership of Banerjee,” he added.

Speaking to reporters about the developments, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “Roy was an important leader in TMC. Let’s wait and watch. Let him first approach our party and a decision will be taken accordingly.” BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “Losing a leader like Roy is a major setback for TMC. We have so far not received any proposal that he wants to join our party. But the BJP will gain massively from the absence of Roy in TMC. But first let him decide what he wants to do, we will think accordingly.”

A former Union Railways Minister, Roy one of the founding members of Trinamool and a former national general secretary. His announcement comes months after a growing rift with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Roy’s differences with Banerjee surfaced over the choice of party candidates for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The party also distanced itself from Roy after he was questioned by the CBI in the Saradha chit fund scam. Roy was later removed as the party’s observer for Tripura. Recently Banerjee abolished the party vice-president’s post, which Roy had been holding for over a year.

Roy’s son Subhrangshu is also a TMC MLA from Bijpur constituency in North 24 Parganas. Asked whether he would follow in his father’s footsteps, Subhrangsu said, “I am with the party and will remain in the party. There is no question of thinking otherwise.”

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