Trinamool suspends Mukul Roy for six years
Kolkata, Sep 25 (IANS) West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress on Monday suspended its founding member Mukul Roy for six years for "anti-party activities", hours after the former Railway Minister announced that he would quit the party after the Durga Puja.
Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee told media persons here of the punitive action against Roy, who is a sitting Rajya Sabha member.
"We have heard the news of Mukul Roy. He has decided to quit the party after the puja. For the past few years, he has been indulging in anti-party activities and trying to weaken the party from within."
"Trinamool Congress disciplinary committee has recommended punishment against Mukul Roy to the party's leader and chairperson Mamata Banerjee. Accordingly, Roy has been suspended for six years from the party."
Accusing Roy of "succumbing to the pressure of the central agencies" - a reference to the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate probing the Saradha chit fund scam and the Narada sting footage in which Roy has been interrogated, Chatterjee wondered why he has not resigned from his Rajya Sabha seat immediately.
"He has been weakening the party for his own interest and through his own plan.
"We wanted him to resign (now)... if he has decided to resign after puja, let him resign right now. The pujas will not be stalled if he puts in his papers now," Chatterjee said.
Asserting that the party was not concerned over Roy's decision to quit, he said: "We have no concern. The party and the state is united. We have full confidence on (the leadership) of (party supremo and Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee."
Earlier in the day, Roy said he would resign from the party working committee on Monday and quit as primary party member and his Rajya Sabha seat after the Durga Puja, which ends on September 30.
Indirectly alluding to the Bharatiya Janata Party, Chatterjee alleged Roy has been "playing for a particular political party", and said the Trinamool "kept a close watch on him".
Coming down heavily on Roy, Chatterjee said he had risen to dizzying heights as Railway Minister, Rajya Sabha MP, party General Secretary and Vice President "despite coming from an ordinary family".
"Banerjee out of her affection for him gave him pan India recognition though nobody knew him even in his locality."
Refering to an earlier occasion a couple of years back when Roy had become inactive in the party, Chatterjee said "then also Mamata Banerjee gave him an opportunity. I spoke to him and we made him active in the party again".
Meanwhile, the BJP denied that Roy was on way to joining its fold.
"There is no proposal about Mukul Roy joining BJP. I think many people in Trinamool will not remain in the party for long because of corruption within the party and the way Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhisek Banerjee run it," BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said.
On the other hand, Roy's son Subhranshu Roy, a Trinamool MLA from Bjipur, said he was "very much in the party, and would continue to be in it".