A month after the Trinamool Congress registered a landslide victory in West Bengal Assembly polls, BJP national vice president Mukul Roy rejoined the Mamata Banerjee-led party. Roy, the West Bengal Chief Minister’s former No. 2, is believed to be one of the chief architects of BJP’s slow but steady growth in West Bengal after he joined the party in 2017.
A look at Mukul Roy’s political career graph
From Congress youth leader to AITC founding member
Mukul Roy started his political career as a Youth Congress leader, around the same time as Mamata Banerjee was part of the outfit. He was among the founding members of the All India Trinamool Congress when Mamata floated it in January 1998 after breaking off from the Congress. Soon, Roy emerged as the party’s face in Delhi, and in 2006, was made its general secretary and earned a seat in the Rajya Sabha. In the UPA II government, he served initially as Minister of State, Shipping, before taking over as Railways Minister — a portfolio Mamata held till she moved to Bengal as the CM.
Narada, Saradha and his fallout with Mamata
Roy and Mamata finally fell out in 2015 after his name came up in the Saradha scam as well as the Narada sting operation in which several Trinamool leaders, including Roy, were allegedly seen taking bribes on camera. In September 2017, Roy was suspended from the Trinamool for six years.
Stint with BJP
Roy formally joined the BJP in November. The man dubbed “Chanakya” of Bengal politics worked on the ground helping the BJP build base in the state, and is credited with the party winning 18 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Among the leaders believed to have been brought to the BJP by Roy were his son and MLA Subrangsu Roy, apart from Trinamool legislators Sovan Chatterjee and Sabyasachi Dutta, and Sunil Singh, Biswajit Das, Wilson Champamary, and Mihir Goswami. He also played a key role in the BJP’s success in wooing over Trinamool stars such as Suvendu Adhikari, Rajib Banerjee and Jitendra Tiwari.
In 2021 Assembly elections, he won Krishnangar Uttar seat for BJP defeating actor-turned-politician Kaushani Mukherjee who had contested on TMC ticket.
Roy’s second innings with TMC
Speculations were rife about his return to the Trinamool Congress after Abhishek Banerjee visited Roy’s wife in hospital where she was being treated for Covid-19.
On Friday, Roy went to Trinamool Bhawan and held a meeting with Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee and other senior leaders of the party before returning to the party fold.