After being stripped of all party posts last year, Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy Sunday made an emphatic comeback as the party’s vice-president in the run-up to the Assembly polls. After Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee made the announcement late Sunday evening, Roy said he will work to help TMC “sweep” the forthcoming state elections.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Roy said,“We are now going to face the elections in a short time. Now that I have been given this responsibility, I will make sure that the party is ready for the elections…My effort will be to render all possible means to get a clean sweep and at least two-third majority for the Trinamool. I expect us to get at least 200 seats.”
Brushing aside questions regarding his estrangement with Mamata, the Rajya Sabha MP said, “I have been working with Didi for 30 years now and we have faced many difficult situations together.’’
Roy, once considered Mamata’s closest confidant, had fallen out of favour following his interrogation by the CBI in February last year in the Saradha scam. Last year, he was stripped of all his posts including his party secretaryship and the post of leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha, which was subsequently given to Derek O’Brien.
Political circles were abuzz with the possibility of Roy’s return after his visit to the Trinamool headquarters in Kolkata in January — his first visit to the party office in 11 months. According to TMC insiders, the thaw in the frosty relationship began after he met Mamata at her residence in December. Roy is known to wield immense support within the party, from both sitting MLAs as well as from the party workers. Party insiders said that this ostensibly made Mamata bring him back into the fold.
Dissidents and Roy’s supporters had been for months threatening to launch a new party called the Nationalist Trinamul Congress, which Roy, however, had very openly distanced himself from.
Earlier this week, dissidents expressed desire to be taken back into the Trinamool fold — a move that was considered as a clear sign that Roy’s reinstatement as one of the most powerful leaders in the ruling party was now inevitable.