Former Union Railway Minister Mukul Roy, who left the Trinamool Congress in September 2017, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday. Speaking to media persons, Roy said that it is his 'proud privilege' to join the party.
Roy formally joined the party in the presence of Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP chief Kailash Vijayvargiya and Rajya Sabha member of Parliament Swapan Dasgupta.
"The BJP is not a communal force, but a secular one. I believe in the leadership of Narendra Modi, Kailash Vijayvargiya and Amit Shah," he said. He also pointed that TMC had earlier been a part of the NDA in the Vajpayee government.
Roy's crossover to the BJP comes as a big blow to the TMC as he was once considered TMC chief Mamata Banerjee's man Friday. Elections in West Bengal are expected to be held in 2021. Rumours of him joining the saffron party had emerged after he met Vijayvargiya on 10 October.
Speaking to media persons, Prasad said, "Mukul babu has offered his services to the BJP without any condition. With his entry, we are certain the BJP will expand further in West Bengal."
Prasad also lauded Roy for his role in 'fighting against the atrocities of the CPM' which ruled West Bengal for 34 years. He noted that Roy was one of the founding members of the TMC.
Once the second-in-command in the TMC after Banerjee, Roy was suspended for six years from the party for undertaking "anti-party activities" following his announcement on 25 September that he would resign after Durga Puja.
Known for his composure, shrewdness and organisational ability, Roy purportedly called the shots with regard to promotions and postings of key administrative and police officers after the TMC came to power in West Bengal in 2011.
— ANI (@ANI) November 3, 2017
Completely sidelined in the party for months, speculation about Roy quitting the TMC had been rife for weeks before he left the party.He was said to be scouting for a new political inning with some other party, particularly the BJP.
Updated Date: Nov 04, 2017 08:30 AM