Monday, Feb 19, 2018 | Last Update : 03:25 AM IST
He is nothing without the support of Mamata Banerjee, says Partha Chatterjee.
Kolkata: The Trinamul Congress leadership on Thursday mocked suspended leader Mukul Roy for making “desperate attempts to please the BJP”. It said that the TMC had aligned with the BJP in 1998 as then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee rose above party politics to lead the nation.
No one should confuse a statesman such as Mr Vajpayee with Prime Minister Narendra Modi or BJP president Amit Shah, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.
“Yes, we were part of the BJP-led NDA from 1998. But that was a different time. The NDA was then led by a statesman such as Mr Vajpayee, who led the nation by taking along all political parties, castes, creeds and religions. He was a secular person. I want to ask can anybody put Mr Vajpayee and Mr Modi in the same bracket,” Mr Chatterjee said.
“We had joined hands (with BJP) because of the secular credentials of Mr Vajpayee. The day we came to know that Mr Vajpayee is no longer leading the NDA, we parted ways. Then we had fought against communalism and now also we are fighting against it,” he said.
Mr Roy had on Wednesday termed the BJP as a secular party and said the TMC would not have tasted success without its backing at the national level during the party’s initial years.
Terming Mr Roy as a “traitor trying to weaken the party”, Mr Chatterjee asked, “Why is he making such statements now? Why he didn’t say such things when he was in the party, when he was made the railways minister? Actually he is making desperate attempts to please the BJP and get into its good books. We called him a traitor and he has himself proved it.”
Mr Chatterjee said “Instead of making comments like a traitor, why doesn’t Mr Roy contest polls from any of the 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal? He is no one without the support of chief minister Mamata Bane-rjee,” he said.
Once the second-in-command after Ms Banerjee, Mr Roy was suspended for six years for “anti-party activities” after he said on September 25 that he would resign from the party after Durga Puja.
He has been maintaining a distance with the TMC leadership for past few months and was removed as its vice-president after the party decided to revamp its structure. He was earlier removed as the in-charge of Tripura where the TMC was making inroads till its members switched over.