Mukul Roy returns to TMC, Mamata says 'more will join'
Kolkata: In a massive blow to BJP's political ambitions in Bengal, the party's national vice-president Mukul Roy on Friday afternoon returned to the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the party he left in 2017 after a 19-year long association, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee describing it as "homecoming of the family's boy".
"Ghorer chhele ghore phirlo (Mukul has returned home)," said the Chief Minister, adding that he was never a traitor like the others.
"Yes, more will come," she confirmed when asked. "As you know, old is always gold."
Speaking while addressing a press conference after Roy's reinduction, Banerjee said: "Mukul's return proves that the BJP does not let anyone live in peace and puts undue pressure on everyone." Roy was seated on Banerjee's left hand, with Abhishek seated after him, while Partha Chatterjee, another top TMC leader, sat on the CM's right.
Subrata Mukherjee, Subrata Bakshi, Firhad Hakim and Javed Khan were also present.
At the event, Abhishek felicitated the father-son duo with shawls and formally inducted them into the party.
When asked about his repeated attacks in the past few years, Roy replied: "I never had any differences with Abhishek."
Asked about Suvendu Adhikari, the Chief Minister said: "Only those who are sober and those who don't encourage bitterness are welcome back. But traitors who joined the BJP before the elections for money will not be taken back."
She said Roy joined the saffron party because he was "threatened by agencies" as his name is in the FIR in the Narada bribery case. So is Suvendu Adhikari's but he was spared when three top Trinamool leaders were recently arrested along with the former Mayor.
Roy's return is a matter of grave significance. He was instrumental in the BJP's hopes for a political coup in Bengal but the bonhomie soured by the time 2021 Assembly elections were held.
Speculation had been rife for some time on a possible homecoming ever since Abhishek visited Roy's wife at a city hospital earlier this month.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promptly after Abhisheks visit, rung up to ask about his wife's health, seen by political observers as an attempt to retain him within the BJP-fold.
Mukul's son Subhranshu also joined the TMC on Friday at the same event.
Roy said: "I am feeling better. I have come back to my own family and I'm happy to see all known faces again. I will give a written statement later on why I had decided to leave the BJP. I am happy that Bengal will regain its old glory under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee who is a national leader."
Mamata said: "BJP is a party where no sensible person can work. It is not a party of the common people. It is a party of the rich."
Mukul won the Krishnanagar North seat in the recent Assembly polls while his son was defeated from the Bijpur seat that he held in the North 24-Parganas district. Subhranshu joined the BJP in 2019.