Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national Vice President Mukul Roy has rejoined Trinamool Congress (TMC), along with his son Shubhranshu on Friday in the presence of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
Stressing that Roy was not a traitor like others, Ms Banerjee said: "Ghorer chhele ghore Pirlo (Mukul has returned home).”
Addressing a press conference after his return to TMC, Mr Roy said: “I have joined TMC today. In the present circumstances, no one will stay in the Bharatiya Janata Party.”
He added that he feels great at seeing his old colleagues, after leaving the BJP.
He then went on to call the Chief Minister "the only leader of Bengal and India".
On being questioned about his repeated attacks on “Didi” in the past few years, Mr Roy replied: "I never had any differences with Mamata Banerjee." Coming to his rescue, Ms Banerjee told reporters: "Don't try to create differences."
Roy, once a confidant of Banerjee and one of the founding members of the TMC in 1998, had joined the BJP in 2017.
Giving a warm welcome to Mukul Roy, Banerjee took to the official TMC handle and wrote: “Warmly welcoming the National Vice-President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shri Mukul Roy, into the Trinamool family. We understand the multiple challenges he faced in BJP. We look forward to this new journey whereby we can work in unison, prioritizing the well-being of the people of India.”
"Only those who are sober and those who don't encourage bitterness are welcome back,” said Banerjee when asked about Suvendu Adhikari.
CM said that “Mukul hasn't said a word against TMC during elections,”
She further warned that “Those who betrayed us during elections will not be taken back.”
Roy “was threatened a lot with agencies etc,” she alleged.
“I feel he's got inner peace after joining TMC today,” she added saying that Roy’s health was deteriorating.
Mukul irked by BJP
Mr Roy has contested assembly polls in 2019 after two decades and has won his Krishnanagar Dakshin seat on a BJP ticket. However, during the BJP campaign, he was sidelined by the party. After the remarkable performance of the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, Roy was rewarded with the post of vice president. He was deemed to be a strong organisational mind behind BJP’s win. But as the Delhi high command took over the Bengal campaign, Roy’s importance was decreasing at the centre for the plans in the state. Meanwhile, the party got a star leader Suvendu Adhikari.
Adhikari who defeated Banerjee and his elevation has fueled the fire that was the rift between Roy and the BJP, say sources.
Since the beginning of the polls, there were speculations that Roy would make a comeback to the BJP.
Case-by-case ‘ghar Wapsi' of leaders
Earlier, the TMC had hinted at taking a "case-by-case" decision on leaders from BJP finding a way to make their way back to Mamata’s party.
"Not just TMC turncoats, but BJP leaders who have won as MLAs are in talks with the BJP. The working committee of the party has left the decision to Didi," said Banerjee's nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, at a press conference in Kolkata.