NEW DELHI: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday welcomed back her former close aide Mukul Roy into the party fold from the BJP and claimed that more leaders from the saffron party will join Trinamool in the coming days.
Mukul Roy was the first big Trinamool leader poached by the BJP nearly four years back in 2017. Ahead of the assembly elections earlier this year, several Trinamool leaders ditched Mamata’s party to join the BJP.
Amid reports that several other leaders were eager to return, the Trinamool chief also outlined the criteria for ‘ghar wapasi’ of former party leaders.
“Leaders who are gentle, sober and who do not believe in bitterness will be taken back,” Mamata said and added, “Those who betrayed Trinamool for money ahead of the assembly polls, won’t be allowed back in the party.”
Mamata Banerjee claimed that Mukul Roy was threatened in the BJP, and that, in turn, affected his health.
“Mukul’s return proves that the BJP does not let anyone in peace and puts undue pressure on everyone,” the chief minister said.
Stating that Mukul Roy will play an important role in the party and get the importance that he enjoyed earlier, Mamata said the former BJP vice-president had never said anything against the Trinamool despite campaigning for the BJP.
“In the present circumstances, no one will stay in Bharatiya Janata Party in Bengal,” Mukul Roy said after joining his old party.
Mukul Roy’s son Subhranshu also joined the TMC on Friday at the same event.
BJP says exit of ‘opportunist’ Mukul will have no impact
The BJP reacted sharply to Mukul Roy’s move and called him an opportunist.
“Opportunists in politics do this. There was a rift between Abhishek Banerjee and him, he then joined the BJP. He’ll keep coming and going. He won an election for the first time, that too on BJP symbol. He should’ve resigned before going,” said Arjun Singh, West Bengal BJP vice-president.
BJP MP from West Bengal Khagen Murmu claimed that Mukul Roy’s exit won’t affect the party.
“Mukul Roy had left TMC and joined BJP before me. He played a good role in our party’s organisational work with proper respect. Today I got to know that he returned to TMC. It’s totally his matter, he can speak about it. But it will never impact our party,” Khagen Murmu said.
(With inputs from the agencies)