Moments after its former national party vice-president joined the BJP, Trinamool Congress on Friday said that Mukul Roy joining the BJP would have no impact on it. “It does not matter if you take a mug of water from the sea. This will have no impact on the party,” senior Trinamool leader and state Power Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay told mediapersons on the sidelines of an event in Kolkata.
The state BJP unit, meanwhile, described Roy’s induction as a “positive development” for the party. Claiming that BJP has now got an “experienced political leader”, party president Dilip Ghosh said: “He will help us grow in West Bengal and we will work together from now on. His induction adds another feather in our cap.” “We do not have much experience of winning elections in Bengal… We have got an experienced political leader today. His experience and organisational skills will help our young leaders do well in future polls. It is a very positive development for us”.
Asked why the BJP inducted a leader, who has been accused in multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam and Narada sting case, Ghosh said: “There is no place for anyone in our party who has been convicted in scams. So far, he has only been accused in Saradha and Narada scams, but has not been found guilty.”
“The party will never shield or stand by anyone who will be pronounced guilty by the court. The Mamata government has slapped several false cases against our workers in Bengal and put them behind bars. That does not mean they are guilty,” he added. Senior Congress leader Om Prakash Mishra said BJP has compromised on its stand on corruption by inducting Roy. “BJP wants to restructure itself in one of the populous states — West Bengal. Therefore, it has decided to compromise on its stance on corruption and transparency. Roy has his own compulsion of joining BJP, as he wants to save himself. This development will apparently help, to a certain extent, erode the support enjoyed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” he added.
CPM MP Mohammad Salim, on the other hand, said BJP would make Roy work as its agent in Bengal. “BJP has taken him as he knows the state and is familiar with its culture. Now, Trinamool is in a spot, as it has to find a replacement for Mukul Roy.”