A section of state BJP leaders are of the view that Mukul Roy and other senior leaders, including Sabyasachi Dutta, were not accorded due importance by the saffron party top brass during the assembly elections. They feel only a handful of leaders, such as Suvendu Adhikari and actor-turned-politician Mithun Chakraborty were given all responsibilities.
News agency ANI quoting sources said that there were differences within the party-state unit and the elevation of Suvendu Adhikari as leader of opposition in the Bengal assembly triggered Mukul Roy’s exit.
The BJP, meanwhile, is learnt to be keeping a close eye on its members of Parliament from the state and the recently elected MLAs in the state assembly.
Party sources said there is no cause to believe that other leaders would be leaving.
‘Lobby politics adversely affecting party’
Former MP Anupam Hazra claimed that “lobby politics” was adversely affecting the BJP in the state.
Taking to Twitter, he contended that it was high time that the state unit of the BJP put an end to the practice and utilise leaders according to their merit.
“Too much importance has been accorded to one or two leaders while ignoring and humiliating the rest. That has led to the present sad situation. There is also no trace of the royal passengers who had taken a chartered flight,” the academic-turned-politician, who had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, said.
The former MP, who had switched over from the TMC to the BJP in 2018, however, asserted that he will continue to be a part of the saffron camp under all circumstances.
‘Mukul was leaking BJP’s internal information to TMC’
Hours after Mukul Roy returned to the Trinamool fold, the West Bengal BJP accused its former national vice-president of leaking internal party information to the Trinamool.
State BJP vice-president Arjun Singh said, “Nobody trusts him. Everybody knew that he provides internal information of BJP to TMC. If rivals get to know your planning, it causes you loss.”
Arjun Singh further claimed that his time in politics was over.
“Mukul Roy was never a public leader. In West Bengal, politics can’t be done from AC room,” the state BJP leader said.
‘Mukul Roy is Mir Jafar’
BJP MP Saumitra Khan compared Mukul Roy to Mir Jafar, commander of the Bengal army under Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah during the 1757 Battle of Plassey, for his ‘betrayal’.
“British East India Company connived with Mir Jafar to defeat Siraj ud-Daulah and enter India. We thought of him as Chanakya but he turned out to be Mir Jafar. His son lost in assembly election from Bijpur,” Khan said.
“BJP works for the country. Where there is Dharma, only there is Karma. In the Mahabharata, we saw that there was a war between Dharma and Adharma. Even Dronacharya died when he was with Adharma. Mukul Roy is Mir Jafar and nothing else,” the BJP MP asserted.
‘Mukul roy’s exit will have no impact on Bengal BJP’
BJP state unit president Dilip Ghosh asserted that Mukul Roy’s move will have no impact on his organisation.
Ghosh, while talking to reporters, said he was not sure if the BJP would lose anything from Roy’s decision, given that he was “unsure whether we gained anything” from his entry three-and-half years back.
‘Should he not resign as BJP MLA?’
BJP state unit vice-president Joyprakash Majumder, on his part, extended his best wishes to Roy, but said that he should immediately quit all saffron party posts.
“Mukul babu is a veteran leader, he is a known face in Bengal politics. We wish him the best in his new innings but shouldn’t he forthwith quit from the primary membership and all other posts of the BJP? Should he not resign as the MLA as he had won a seat on the Lotus (BJP) symbol,” Majumder said.
Taking a dig at Roy’s claims that not many leaders would be able to stay put for long in the BJP, Majumdar said, “We wonder if he was referring to TMC’s new politics of wiping out members of its main political rival.
“At least 18,000 ‘karya kartas’ (workers) of the BJP were forced to leave homes due to TMC terror. Tribal women in Malda district have become homeless. There have been other instances of attacks on women, which is unparalleled in India. These incidents in West Bengal are not coming to light. The intellectuals, perhaps, have run out of money to buy candles to take out protest rallies,” Majumdar added.
Why Bengal BJP cannot ignore differences within
While BJP leaders attacked Mukul Roy, the state party unit cannot afford to ignore the differences within. Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee has hinted at further defections from the BJP, during the event to welcome Mukul Roy back into the party fold.