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Tapas Roy’s Exit and the Alleged Rift Within

Amidst allegations and internal discontent, Tapas Roy resigns from TMC, sparking speculations of a deeper party rift and a potential shift in Bengal's political landscape.

Piyush Gautam

Kolkata: In a dramatic turn of events that has sent ripples through the political corridors of West Bengal, Tapas Roy, a prominent leader of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), has resigned from his primary membership and his post in the legislative assembly. The resignation comes on the heels of an unexpected Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid on his residence on January 12, 2024, which reportedly yielded no incriminating evidence to proceed against him.

The war of words between Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Tapas Roy and his party colleague and MP Sudip Bandhopadhyay escalated on Friday, causing major embarrassment to the ruling party. Roy on Friday again targeted Bandyopadhyay, calling him a “corrupt politician who has spent days in jail”.

In 2017, Bandyopadhyay was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with his alleged involvement in a Ponzi firm, Rose Valley Group.

The incident has left Roy deeply aggrieved, particularly in light of the silence from the party’s high command. In stark contrast, the Chief Minister and party supremo expressed open sorrow in the West Bengal assembly over the conduct of Sheikh Shahjahan, whose criminal activities have been substantiated by evidence. This disparity in response has not gone unnoticed, with many perceiving it as a neglect of a grassroots leader in favour of those with questionable reputations. He blamed the TMC supremo for avoiding the grassroots workers when the chief spokesperson of the Bengal ruling party urged Roy to rethink his decision to resignation at that time he received a show cause notice from Subrato Bakshi, M.P and loyalist of TMC. It shows how much autocracy has evolved in the party.

Emerging World reports suggest that the TMC is experiencing internal strife, which has now been catalyzed by Roy’s departure. A significant number of TMC leaders, including Kunal Ghosh, are reportedly disillusioned with the actions of TMC MP Sudip Banerjee, whom they hold responsible for the ED raid and the increasing professionalization of the party. Accusations are rife that Banerjee’s actions have led to the alienation of grassroots workers and inadvertently strengthened the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s position in the region.

Roy, known for his substantial organizational strength, is widely expected to join the BJP soon, along with the entire district unit of North Kolkata and North 24 Parganas. His political journey began in Kolkata under the mentorship of the esteemed central minister Ajit Panja, marking the start of a significant career that has now taken a new turn.

As the TMC grapples with these developments, the political landscape of Bengal stands at a crossroads. Roy’s resignation not only raises questions about the internal dynamics of the TMC but also about the future direction of state politics as the Lok Sabha elections loom on the horizon. With the party facing allegations of corruption and a potential exodus of leaders and supporters, the coming days are likely to be pivotal in shaping the narrative of Bengal’s political saga.

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