Mukul Roy Meets Arun Jaitley, Sets Off Speculation


Kolkata: Breaking the ice, Senior Trinamool Congress leader and Rajya Sabha legislator Mukul Roy, who announced his resignation from the party, has set the talking point for people during the festival season in West Bengal – his next move, has met with Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister and Minister of Corporate Affairs in the BJP Government.

Over the past few weeks, a rumour that Roy was hobnobbing with senior BJP leaders started swirling. While Banerjee kept lambasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah at public meetings, Roy was believed to be meeting Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, Shah and Uttar Pradesh health minister Siddharth Nath Singh.

The 63-year-old offered only a teaser “I shall spell it out just after the pujas,” he said.
“I have sent an e-mail this morning informing my decision to step down from the working committee. I shall resign from the Rajya Sabha immediately after the pujas. About eight months are still left for my tenure to end in the Upper House. At that time I shall also step down from the primary membership of the party,” Roy said.

Roy was the undisputed number two in Trinamool Congress merely two and a half years ago. He was, however, reduced to a position where he would have to report to someone who once was his junior. Roy was crucial in managing and expanding the party.

A master strategist, he also succeeded in keeping the Modi wave in 2014 Lok Sabha polls away from Bengal, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won only two of the 42 seats in the state.

Roy was removed from the position of the party general secretary in 2015. In December the same year, Roy was believed to be instrumental in floating the Nationalist Trinamool Congress party. It was later merged with Trinamool Congress.He was increasingly sidelined in the party since then. However, before the 2016 assembly elections Roy was reinstated as a vice-president of the party.

On September 4, Roy was dropped from the parliamentary consultative committee of Union home ministry and TMC Rajya Sabha member Manish Gupta replaced him. On September 17,