Suspended Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy on Saturday said that he does not consider the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a communal force, but a secular party. Roy asked if the saffron party was a communal force, then how did the Trinamool became a part of the Atal Bihar Vajpayee-led NDA government. “I do not consider the BJP to be a communal force. It is a secular party. Had it been a communal party, it would not have been recognised by the Election Commission,” Roy was quoted by the Indian Express as saying. He added, “When the TMC was formed, it had forged an alliance with the BJP. The alliance was there from 1998 to 2006, except for a few months during the (West Bengal) Assembly election in 2001.”
As per the report, these remarks by Roy came after his meetings with Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury and suspended CPI(M) leader Ritabrata Banerjee. Roy met Chowdhury on Friday while, Roy and Banerjee were believed to have spent more than two hours together at a lunch at Roy’s Delhi residence yesterday, reported the Indian Express.
Roy had resigned from a Trinamool post last month. The party responded by suspending him for six years. It came less than a year after a patch-up with party supremo Mamata Banerjee. Meanwhile there has been speculation that Roy is likely to float a new political outfit and target next year’s panchayat polls in West Bengal to test the political waters in the state, reported PTI. Roy has sparked rumours of joining the BJP after coming out with statements that seem to indicate a softening of stand towards the saffron party. However, BJP sources felt that Roy is likely to form his own political outfit to show off his political strength to it.