KOLKATA: Months before the West Bengal Assembly elections, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had alerted the BJP’s national leadership that Trinamool Congress turncoat Mukul Roy was in touch with the ruling party, sources in the saffron camp said. Roy and his son Subhrangshu recently re-joined the Trinamool Congress after a three-year stint with the BJP.
After receiving the RSS alert, the BJP high command had decided to censor Roy and restrict his activities, said a BJP leader in Kolkata. “The party had given Roy to work on his own in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Many out of 18 MPs elected from Bengal are known as Roy’s followers and were fielded in the election based on his recommendation. But in the 2021 Assembly elections, he was not involved in organisational activities. Instead, he was confined to an Assembly constituency from where he was fielded,” said the leader.
According to sources, the RSS, in its report, said Roy was in touch with top TMC leaders not only over the phone but also met them in person. Roy was made the convenor of the state election committee of the BJP in 2019, the move helped the party perform exceptionally well in the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP’s national general secretary branded Roy as BJP’s Chanakya (kingmaker) in Bengal.
“Roy’s bitter relationship with the BJP started when he was not given any berth in the party’s Bengal hierarchy even after his impressive performance in the Lok Sabha polls. It was because state president Dilip Ghosh and his lobby were against Roy and his followers. A year after the 2019 general elections, Roy was made BJP’s national vice-president without giving any particular state or region to oversee. The Bengal’s veteran politician realised the portfolio was nothing other than an ornament,’’ said another BJP leader.
Roy’s “inactivity” became prominent at the end of 2020 when the poll bugle in Bengal was sounded. “The RSS said in its letter that since then Roy was in touch with the TMC. Roy, too, adopted a soft line while attacking the ruling party and CM Mamata Banerjee during poll campaigns at a time when our high command had launched a blistering attack on the TMC,’’ said the leader.