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TMC removes Mukul Roy from all the party posts

3/1/2015 3:20:23 PM

Soumitra Nandi
Kolkata:
A day after being shunted out from his prestigious parliamentary position as leader of Trinamool Congress in the Rajya Sabha, Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of Bengal, on Saturday stripped her once-powerful aide Mukul Roy of all posts in the Trinamool Congress.

The Rajya Sabha MP has been dropped as party general secretary and from the working committee. The decision was taken at a meeting in Kolkata that Roy had refused to attend, saying he had to be in Parliament on budget day.
 “Subrata Bakshi is the only all-India general secretary of the party,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee told journalists, without mentioning Roy’s name.

In recent weeks, the Chief Minister on numerous occasions has demonstrated that she no longer confides in her once trusted aide. Roy's position as party general secretary was diluted and a powerful "national secretariat" was set up to handle parliamentary matters. 

According to political analysts Saturday’s developments came as no surprise as, on February 14, Mamata  Banerjee had appointed Mr. Bakshi additional general secretary of the TMC, indicating Mr. Roy’s removal. Eventually, she assigned key responsibilities to her nephew Abhishek Banerjee, without consulting Mr. Roy. 

Roy's strong bonding with the Trinamool supremo had suffered a jolt after he was questioned in connection with the Saradha Ponzi scam on January 30 in which several party leaders are being investigated. After his interrogation  Mr Roy had told reporters that  he would cooperate fully with the CBI, contradicting Ms Banerjee's stand that the agency is being used by the centre's ruling BJP for political vendetta.

 “In the year 1997 I had started from zero. Mamata is not the founder of the party, she is only the chairperson. I am the founder member of the party. I am proud to be the founder member of Trinamool. The people will decide my importance,” reacted Roy in Delhi on being questioned about his removal.
“Time will tell whether the decision is right or wrong. It is an ad hoc working committee, it is their prerogative. I remain an MP and a responsible party worker, “added Roy.

Once the closest aide of Ms. Banerjee, Mr. Roy was number two in the party and successfully managed the organisation for over a decade. He played a crucial role in the TMC’s victory in all major elections between 2009 and 2014 in West Bengal. 

In recent weeks, Roy has visited the Election Commission’s main office in Delhi several times, presumably to figure out the status of the founder-member-cum-general secretary in the party. His visits to the EC’s office irked Ms. Banerjee, party chairperson, more, perhaps hastening his removal.

On Thursday, Roy had met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, rattling a party that has been worried about losing people to the BJP. Roy, who had himself served as the Railway minister had also praised the rail budget going against the party line.

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