10 October, Kolkata
Suspended Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy will quit his Rajya Sabha seat on October 11, sources close to the leader said on Tuesday.
Roy is slated to meet Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, at 3.30 p.m. and submit his resignation from the upper house of parliament.
He would then hold a media meet at his New Delhi residence explaining his reason to leave the party of which he was a founding member.
Amid much speculation that he was eyeing a role in the Bharatiya Janata Party, Roy has met over the past few days BJP heavyweights including Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and its National General Secretary and West Bengal in charge Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Another theory doing the rounds is that Roy might revive the Nationalist Trinamool Congress or float a new outfit and function as an ally of the BJP by joining the centre’s ruling National Democratic Alliance. Poliitcal circles feel Roy might try to rope in some dissident Trinamool leaders to prove his political weight to the BJP.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool launched a scathing attack on its erstwhile national General Secretary and Vice President.
Accusing Roy of betraying the party, Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee claimed without party supremo Mamata Banerjee’s support, Roy’s political career would be in oblivion.
“He is now trying to weigh his options. He will be lost into the sea. If he quits tomorrow, no one would enquire about him. If he was intelligent, he would not have taken such a decision to betray the party,” he alleged.
“If Mamata Banerjee’s picture is removed he will go back to his position of being a Kanchrapara (the locality where Roy resides in North 24 Parganas district) boy. It is unthinkable that he could betray someone who has given him everything,” he retorted.
Chatterjee, who is also state Education Minister, also took a swipe at Roy for delaying his resignation from the party.
“I do not know why is he taking so long to leave the party. This is not a job that he has to serve a notice period. We have suspended him for six years. Party has already served him the notice,” Chatterjee said.
On the other hand, Congress President Adhir Chowdhury, who held meetings with Roy after his suspension from the party, said the former Union Minister had approached the Congress but the decision to take him depended on the party’s central leadership.
“I met him and we had long discussions on various issues. He approached the Congress before and had a word with Rahul Gandhi but we could not take him as there was some problems. I do not know what would happen now. This is for the central leadership to decide,” he said.
Terming the saga between Trinamool and Roy as their internal issue, the Communist Party of India claimed his political credentials would be questioned if he decided to join the BJP.
“This is an issue between Mukul Roy and Trinamool Congress. I have nothing to say on him quitting the party. But if he decides to join the BJP, his political credentials would be questioned by the people of Bengal,” CPI national council Secretary D. Raja told media persons here.
“It is to be seen how the people of Bengal react to it and I think they would consider his move as a betrayal,” he claimed.
Roy, once Banerjee’s right hand man, on September 25 announced his decision to quit the party, which hit back by suspending him for six years.
Roy had then said he would resign as the primary party member and also from his Rajya Sabha seat after the Durga Puja, which concluded on September 30.