Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed that her lieutenant Mukul Roy had distanced himself due to “pressure” and “harassment” from the BJP.
“There was no parting of ways. Because of the way they (BJP) mentally pressured him, he distanced himself (from Trinamool). But there were no major differences,” Mamata said in an interview to a local news channel,
Often credited as the architect of Mamata’s electoral success, Roy was said to have fallen out with the party following his interrogation by the CBI in January last year in connection with the Saradha scam. Mamata also suspended several Roy-loyalists and a number of TMC dissidents joined hands with other party leaders such as Pradeep Ghosh of the BJP. Ghosh had even approached the Election Commission of Inida last year to float their own party, Nationalist Trinamul Congress.
The mending of fences started after Roy and Banerjee exchanged pleasantries in parliament, during the chief minister’s visit to New Delhi in December 2015. Subsequently he found his way into a Trinamool delegation that met Union Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla in Delhi, signalling his return to the Trinamool mainstream.
The estrangment between Mamata and her second-in-command completely ended earlier in February when he was appointed the party’s vice-president. The presence of Roy, who shares a good rapport with TMC members, legislators and party workers, not only strengthened the party, but also ended a possible mutiny in the ranks.