Mukul Roy’s Ghar Wapsi Aims To Take TMC Beyond West Bengal, Dent BJP

The TMC cadres are on a high after the historic win in which the party won 213 of the total 294 assembly seats against 77 of BJP.

Mukul Roy’s return to the TMC fold has two main objectives– to dent the BJP and take West Bengal’s ruling party beyond the state in sync with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s national ambitions.

The TMC cadres are on a high after the historic win in which the party won 213 of the total 294 assembly seats against 77 of BJP.

However, if Mamata has to have a say in the formation of the next central government, the BJP’s 18 out of total 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state must come down.

The ghar wapsi of Roy, who played a major role in propping up the saffron party in the eastern state since he joined the BJP in 2017, is the first step towards that goal.


Mukul Roy, joining back the TMC, in presence of Mamata Banerjee.


Roy’s considerable organizational and fund-raising skills would now be deployed to dismantle the saffron party structure in the state by wooing back TMC leaders who had moved to the BJP in search of greener pastures.

Though Roy has claimed several BJP leaders are in touch with him and want to return to TMC, it remains to be seen if Mamata will allow entry passes for all of them.

Already, the names of former minister Rajib Banerjee, who had joined the BJP just before the assembly polls, is doing the rounds after he met TMC leader Kunal Ghosh. Rajib had served as a minister in Mamata’s cabinet both in 2011 and 2016.

Several former TMC lawmakers, including Dipendu Biswas and Sonali Guha, have sent missives to the chief minister that they regret their decision to join the saffron party and are now keen to return to her.


Top TMC turncoats- Suvendu Adhikari, Mukul Roy and Rajib Banerjee- campaigning for the BJP in West Bengal Assembly Election.


There are reports that the return of former lawmakers Prabir Ghoshal of Uttarpara and Sarala Murmu of Malda, who lost their elections, are also being considered by the TMC leadership. Some sitting BJP lawmakers are also in the pipeline.

Roy is also focusing on North Bengal to dent the saffron party in its stronghold and recently made BJP’s Alipurduar district president Ganga Prasad Sharma join the TMC along with other leaders.

There are also reports that some BJP rebels in Tripura may join TMC.

Role reversal

Mukul Roy’s return has taken place at a time when power equations within the party have changed.

Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee has risen through the ranks and is now the TMC national general secretary and virtually number two in the organization, a position once held by Roy.

However, that should not be much of a problem given the warmth displayed by the two leaders on the day Roy returned to the TMC fold.

Abhishek welcomed Mukul’s son Subhrangshu Roy back into the party with equal grace and had earlier visited the hospital to see the senior leader’s wife Krishna.


Abhishek Banerjee welcomed back Mukul Roy into the TMC.


Roy, 67, had founded the TMC along with Mamata Banerjee in 1998 and played a key role in the party’s historic win against the Left Front government in 2011.

Since then, he enjoyed the number two position in both the party and the government for years and was known to be an organization person. He knew workers at the block level by name and had the ability to keep the party running.

He was removed as TMC national general secretary after his name surfaced in the Narada and Sarada scams in 2016.

The BJP poached him in 2017 as the saffron party needed Roy’s help in building up its organization in the eastern state.

Why did Roy leave BJP?

During the years he stayed with the BJP, Roy helped the saffron party dent the TMC, counter Mamata and ensured victory of saffron party candidates in the 2019 national elections.

Roy had hoped for a central cabinet berth in reward but it was denied to him because of the corruption charges against him. He was then made a national vice president of the BJP, but he soon realized that it was only a fancy designation with no actual role in the party.

He was not given much importance ahead of the 2021 assembly polls reportedly at the behest of the RSS. Also, the fact that Suvendu Adhikari, another former close aide of Mamata, was hogging the limelight along with state unit chief Dilip Ghosh, miffed Roy.


Suvendu Adhikari’s elevation as leader of the opposition may have pushed back Mukul Roy to the TMC.


After the polls, the BJP elevated Suvendu as the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, ignoring Roy, who got the message that he was no more useful for the saffron party.


The TMC vs BJP war is only going to intensify. Suvendu recently led a delegation of BJP lawmakers to petition Governor Jagdeep Dhankar over the post-poll violence in the state and put pressure on the Mamata government.

But the event was also noted for the absence of several BJP lawmakers, who are reportedly exploring ways to return to the TMC fold.

The BJP was able to demoralize the TMC by engineering large-scale defections just before the assembly polls. It is now Mamata’s turn to pay back the saffron party in the same coin. And who better than Roy to supervise the ghar wapsi programme.

Mamata, who has a personal score to settle with Suvendu, has approached the Kolkata High Court to probe the Nandigram poll, where she lost to Adhikari.

In turn, the Leader of the Opposition has urged the Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee to disqualify Mukul Roy, elected from Krishnanagar Uttar seat on a BJP ticket, under the anti-defection law.

The BJP fears that Roy might be named as head of the Public Accounts Committee as the key post usually goes to an opposition lawmaker. Though Mukul has joined the TMC, he is still a BJP MLA. Only the Speaker can take a call in the matter.

Soon after Roy rejoined the TMC, the BJP-led Centre withdrew his Z security cover and later said the leader had himself surrendered it.

Roy is now under state protection and would help Mamata keep Suvendu under check.


Mamata Banerjee with Mukul Roy.


Though the TMC is recognized as a national party by the Election Commission, given the party has presence in West Bengal, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh, Mamata Banerjee is now planning to extend footprints in Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and the north-eastern states.

Abhishek is expected to come out with a national plan, which aims to counter the BJP and win elections outside the home state, soon. Roy would have a role in rolling out the plan and keep it going by arranging the funds required.

The BJP plays down these hopes as unrealistic but is keeping a watch.

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