What does Mukul Roy bring to Mamata Banerjee’s new-look Trinamool?

He’s 67 and is severely diabetic, requiring every day pictures of insulin. Some BJP leaders allege he’s not too alert nowadays both, and that he forgets names. Regardless, he creates a buzz, wherever he’s.

On June 11, Mukul Roy deserted the BJP and rejoined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in one thing of a hasty ceremony. Alongside him was his son Subrangshu, who additionally defected on the identical time. The transfer was so sudden that the BJP had no time to intervene. The saffron get together’s Bengal minder, Kailash Vijayvargiya, identified to be shut to Mukul, reportedly tried to contact him because the information hit the media, however Mukul let the decision ring to silence.

With that, Mukul wound up his nearly four-year innings within the BJP. The indicators of a rift have been there to see. When the BJP discovered that Mukul’s son had met with TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee on June 2—at a metropolis hospital when Mukul’s spouse was critically in poor health—there have been some sporadic makes an attempt to guarantee his loyalty. These included a go to from Dilip Ghosh, and a name from Prime Minister Narendra Modi promising medical assist for his spouse. Though Mukul tweeted the next day reiterating his loyalty to the BJP, political observers famous the second.

Mukul’s time within the BJP could have proved bittersweet. Though he was broadly credited for the saffron success within the state within the 2019 Lok Sabha election, from poaching winnable candidates from the TMC to chopping into its voteshare, he remained an election planner, topic to get together diktats: Amit Shah’s ‘Hum Mamata ko ukhad ke phenk ne ke liye aaye hain (We have come to uproot and throw away Mamata Banerjee’s authorities)’. It was solely final July that he grew to become a BJP nationwide vice chairman, after phrase bought out that he was wanting to depart the get together.

With the BJP’s resounding loss within the state election, Mukul could discover his wings clipped for the second, regardless of his change of get together. Though the saffron technique for 2021 was set by Amit Shah, with hordes of BJP nationwide leaders descending on the state for months to carry it out, he too bears some duty for the consequence. Mukul’s assist was reportedly principally sought in bringing in TMC heavyweights like Suvendu Adhikari and Rajib Banerjee, Sabyasachi Dutta and Silbhadra Dutta—and Matua leaders. Though he additionally made tall claims of what number of MLAs he would bring into the saffron fold, the top consequence was not even 1 / 4 of what he promised. The better of the insurgent TMC leaders’ efforts was 40-50 odd MLAs, with maybe 100 different leaders of assorted rank and file.

As a consequence, Mukul’s becoming a member of the Trinamool, as an alternative of elevating expectations and hopes, has led to questions on what new he brings to the Trinamool desk, the place a lavish buffet is already unfold. Delivering a landslide victory with 213 MLAs, regardless of not having the help of leaders like Mukul, Mamata has proved that she alone is sufficient to win Bengal.

When he joined the BJP in November 2017, the saffron get together welcomed Mukul as a most prized catch from the TMC. The phrase on the road was that the Chanakya of West Bengal—Mukul was reputed to know your complete TMC community, from cubicles to staff—would severely harm his former get together by defecting to the BJP. Then on the peak of his profession as TMC second in command, his flip of political coats was seen as an enormous win for the BJP, which was organisationally weak within the state, with a poor sales space presence. And using the wave of anti-incumbency in 2019, he delivered an enormous win for the BJP, serving to it win 18 of the state’s 42 MPs, solely 4 lower than the TMC.

Three years have handed since then, with no extra exhibits of Mukul magic within the BJP. The as soon as revered Chanakya was sidelined from choice making and technique. He was pitched as an alternative as a candidate from Krishnanagar seat, a lot in opposition to his needs. Though he had a giant position to play in candidate choice this time round, it was a flop, with solely six of 148 contesting turncoats managing to win. It is probably going each Mukul and the BJP realised that he can be shoved to the reserve bench, which explains him exploring the potential for returning to his outdated get together.

Whether Mukul hoped to return to his outdated place—Trinamool quantity 2—or not, that was all the time not possible. He has rejoined after Mamata has already handed over the reins of the TMC to Abhishek Banerjee by making him the get together’s nationwide common secretary. While re-inducting Mukul, Mamata famous his deteriorating well being, an attention-grabbing sign—that the TMC wouldn’t anticipate something large from Mukul, however that he ought to have equally reasonable expectations and will deal with his ‘political homecoming’ as a rehabilitation whereas he recovers his failing well being.

Mukul probably hopes to present his value within the modified political panorama by orchestrating a reverse defection of BJP MLAs to the TMC to enhance its power within the state meeting. If he performs nicely and pleases the supremo, he believes he can simply declare a Rajya Sabha berth, two of which have fallen vacant. The query, then, is that if he can scale back the BJP’s power within the meeting. While he nonetheless has the clout to sway mid-level and decrease political leaders to swap political loyalties, veterans are reportedly extra inclined to purchase time and watch how his return to the TMC pans out, particularly associated to his alleged involvement in some monetary scams being probed by Central companies. Without the BJP’s political cowl, he has instantly turn out to be extra susceptible, with companies changing into far more aggressive. It stays to be seen what he can ship for the TMC, past merely letting his expertise enrich the get together.

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