Mukul Roy’s exit won’t hit party: Dilip Ghosh

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, while talking to reporters, said he was not sure if the BJP would lose anything from Roy's decision, given that he was “unsure whether we gained anything” from his entry three-and-half years back.

Hours after Mukul Roy returned to the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the BJP said Roy’s exit would not affect the party’s prospects in the state as it has strong presence in the state.

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, while talking to reporters, said he was not sure if the BJP would lose anything from Roy’s decision, given that he was “unsure whether we gained anything” from his entry three-and-half years back.

“Right now, we are bothered about more serious issues as the cycle of violence goes on unabated in the state. We are bothered about the safety of our workers, who are being targeted by TMC activists,” he pointed out.

State BJP vice-president Joy Prakash Majumder, in a press conference, seemed surprised by Roy’s return to the TMC whom he had called a “private limited company”.

“Mukul Roy is a senior politician, a known face in Bengal. He has started a new innings in his old party, and we wish him all the luck. During his stay in the BJP, he tried to take the party forward. In 2017 when he joined the BJP, he said the TMC is a private limited company,” said Majumdar.

Majumdar said that there would be no impact on the BJP since it has a strong base in Bengal and is the largest political party in India.

“Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership we are in power in most of the states,” he said.

When asked about Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s claim that Roy was in BJP out of fear, Majumdar said, “Someone like Mukul Roy was in a party out of fear is unbelievable. He was the national vice-president, a prestigious post. He even won from Krishnanagar seat on a BJP ticket. How can someone stay in the party for so long out of fear?”

Responding to TMC’s claim that no one would remain in the BJP, Majumdar said, “By saying so, I think they meant that they will finish all BJP workers. The ruling party has unleashed terror after the elections. Our workers have been attacked regularly.”

Majumdar questioned about Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement that Roy fell ill in the BJP and that the party did allow anyone to live.

“Over the years, we have seen whether it was Sudip Bandopadhyay or the recently arrested TMC leaders, they all fall ill once they are summoned by the CBI. We achieved 77 seats from 3 seats (in the 2016 Assembly polls). We have accepted the mandate of people. This is where we differ from the TMC. The TMC wasn’t voted to attack the BJP,” he added.

Hours after Roy reached Trinamool Bhavan with his son Subhrangshu Roy, several BJP leaders said party workers needed to be disheatened.

BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta tweeted. “An election setback is of concern. The task of Bengal BJP is to draw the lessons & move ahead. These steps are underway & will become evident. There’s no cause for new & old karyakartas to be dispirited & go into a shell. BJP will build on the 2.2 crore votes & enlarge its reach.”

Known for his controversial statements, BJP national secretary Anupam Hazra said, “We keep consoling that we have achieved 77 seats from 3, but the fact is we fought for 200 seats. The way central leaders came and campaigned, we were fighting to come to power, the party didn’t fight for role of opposition. Lots of leaders were not properly utilised by the party. There is lack of unity and lot of groupism. The party must address the issue, otherwise the Bengal BJP will be more in trouble.”

In the opinion of another BJP leader, Shilbhadra Dutta, joining another party is someone’s personal choice but when it is done time and again, people lose faith in politicians.

Former TMC leader Baishali Dalmia, who fought from Bally on a BJP ticket and lost, said, “There is no benefit in becoming a rolling stone. I think BJP workers shouldn’t be worried because nothing would get effected if some garbage is removed. In fact, people loose faith in such people.”

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