27 September New Delhi(India)-West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress boss Mamata Banerjee’s once trusted lieutenant Mukul Roy’s decision to quit the party he cofounded is likely to see him in a new role in the state’s politics.
With BJP desperately looking for known faces to gain ground in the state where it has so far remained a marginal player, Roy could be the “utility man” for the party which needs to win from new seats beyond its strongholds in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
That BJP needs an expert organisational man like Roy in the state was clear from the dressing down state leaders including state unit chief Dilip Ghosh got from party chief Amit Shah during his last trip to the city earlier this month for not delivering on the ground.
The question is whether BJP will induct Roy into the party or provide logistical support to him to revive Nationalist Trinamool Congress. Sources said that while Roy would prefer to join the BJP, the party is likely to keep him as ally. How the negotiations proceed will be clear only after Durga Puja.
Since BJP had accused him of being involved in the Sarada scam for which the CBI has interrogated him, it would be difficult for the party to induct him. But a Jiten Ram Manjhi kind of formula — where the Bihar leader floated a party with BJP’s help before the assembly polls to hurt the then Nitish Kumar-Lalu Prasad combine — could work in Bengal, BJP insiders believe.