In another political twist, disgruntled Trinamool Congress MP Satabdi Roy on Friday evening clarified that she was not going to leave the party, declaring that her political allegiance was still with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, reported NDTV. The actor-turned politician said she had also cancelled her visit to New Delhi, where she was expected to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
“I am with the Trinamool,” Roy told reporters after holding a meeting with Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata. “My problems with the party have been addressed by Abhishek Banerjee. All my abhimaan [pride] has been placated. I came to politics for Mamata Banerjee. I am with her.”
The TMC MP from Birbhum on Thursday had created a stir when she left a cryptic message on social media. In the message, which was posted on one of her fan pages on Facebook, Roy hinted that she faced problems with the ruling party in West Bengal, and that she may take a decision to leave the TMC soon. “If I take a decision, then I will let you know at 2 pm on the 16th of January,” the post read.
The post further alleged that Roy had not been informed about many party programmes and the alleged neglect had caused her “mental pain”, according to PTI. “…Recently many people have been asking me why I am missing from several party programmes,” it said. “I want to tell them that I want to attend all programmes. I like to be among you people. But I don’t get to know about many programmes and if I am not even informed about events in my constituency, then how can I go.”
Initially, there was some confusion about whether the message was posted by Roy herself, or if the Facebook page where it was shared was an official one. However, on Friday, the politician confirmed the authenticity of the post. “I am facing a lot in TMC,” she had said. “The Facebook post is genuine and was done by me.”
While Roy did maintain that she was not going to join the Bharatiya Janata Party, she had not ruled out the possibility of her meeting Shah during her Delhi trip. “There are always chances of meeting people you know but there is no such possibility,” she told reporters.
Roy’s ambivalent statements had left TMC leadership in a tizzy. TMC parliamentarian Sougata Roy had said they will wait and watch what Roy decides. “We cannot say anything before knowing what her decision is,” he added, according to The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party said that Roy’s internal conflict over her ties with the ruling party had exposed the fragile condition of the Trinamool Congress.
“Shatabdi Roy has said she is not going to Delhi tomorrow but she has not said she will not go in future,” said BJP state Vice-President Jay Prakash Majumdar. “The Trinamool Congress should introspect why one leader after another is behaving like this.”
The TMC has been witnessing an exodus in the run up to the Assembly elections in West Bengal. Several party leaders have switched sides and joined the BJP.
Political turmoil in the Trinamool Congress started after former state minister and a close associate of Banerjee, Suvendu Adhikari, quit from the party. After a long drawn period of public dissatisfaction with the ruling TMC, Adhikari joined the BJP during Amit Shah’s two-day visit to West Bengal on December 19. Earlier, he resigned from all the positions he held in the Trinamool Congress on December 17. This came a day after he resigned as a member of the Legislative Assembly and almost 20 days after he resigned as West Bengal transport minister. He had quit from the post of chairperson of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners too.