KOLKATA: Mukul Roy, once second-in-command in Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool and now senior BJP leader, is learnt to have rubbished his party’s projections that it could pick up as many as 190 of the total 294 Assembly seats in the 2021 Assembly elections, saying it was not grounded in reality.
‘’A report presented at a meeting called by general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya in New Delhi on Thursday to sharpen the party’s strategy in Bengal, said the BJP could get 190 seats out of 294, and wresting Bengal from the Trinamool is now a matter of time. Roy refused to accept the assessment, saying it does not reflect the ground-level reality, and suggested the party needs to work hard in many segments to aspire to reach that figure.
"A sharp difference of opinion emerged when others in the meeting did not agree with Roy’s position,’’ said a senior BJP leader. So, instead of participating is subsequent sessions on the meeting, Roy took a flight back to Kolkata.
The BJP at present has 15 MLAs in the Bengal House, including defectors. The Lok Sabha elections in 2019 threw up a surprise, as the party managed to wrest 18 seats. Yet, a leap from 15 to 190 is way too abbitious at present, Roy felt, claimed sources.
Roy is known to be upset as state BJP president Dilip Ghosh is yet to find work for him. ‘’Roy is known for his mastery on the booth-level equations in Bengal’s political arena. He was not happy when his take on the 2021 polls was not accepted,’’ a leader said.
‘’Within his close circle, Roy expressed displeasure on several occasions as he has not been given any responsibility officially. He is not listed in the party’s central or state-level hierarchy. Roy flew to Delhi last month and spent two days to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah to share his concern,’’ another leader said. Putting things in perspective, the leader said, Roy was inducted anticipating a Trinamool exodus to the BJP, but it didn’t happen. For the record, Roy said he returned to Kolkata for eye treatment.