New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) Sidelined Trinamool Congress national general secretary Mukul Roy Friday said he has not crossed any limits by calling on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and would skip the party working committee meeting Saturday due to the union budget presentation and personal work.
Throwing veiled punches at the party leadership, Roy – once number two of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee – criticised the party’s decision last year to remove Suvendu Adhikari from the post of Trinamool Youth Congress chief.
“Jaitley is the leader of the Rajya Sabha… India’s finance minister. I’m a Rajya Sabha member. So naturally I can speak to any minister or leader of the Rajya Sabha. I don’t think I have crossed any limits,” said Roy, whose meeting with the BJP leader sparked speculations that he was tilting towards centre’s ruling party.
Roy said he enjoyed good relations with leaders of all parties. “In politics, there is nothing wrong in maintaining contact with leaders of all parties. I have good rapport with leaders of the Congress, the BJP, CPI-M, CPI.”
He said he has received a letter informing him about the Trinamool working committee meeting Saturday. “But the union budget will be placed in the Lok Sabha tomorrow (Saturday). Also I have some personal work. So I can’t attend tomorrow’s meeting. And I have told them about it.”
Describing Adhikari has the leader with the most potential among the young turks in the Trinamool, Roy said: “We did something wrong by removing him from the post of Youth Trinamool chief. I was party to that decision. I admit my mistake.”
Amid reports that he has been removed as the leader of the party in Rajya Sabha with Derek O’Brien coming in as the replacement, he said: “That is the prerogative of the party’s Rajya Sabha members and the party leadership. If they think I am not needed they will not retain me. Only time will say who is right and who is wrong.”
Roy, a former railway minister, has seemingly fallen out with Banerjee after his interrogation by the CBI in connection with the multi-crore-rupee Saradha ponzi scam.
A founding member of the Trinamool, he has distanced himself from the party and shied away from attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party of late.
Last month, Banerjee effected a series of organisational reshuffles in what is being termed as a move to clip Roy’s wings.
Asked what he felt about the steps taken by the party leadership, Roy said: “I’ve no comments to make.”
On whether he wouldn’t have problems working under O’Brien, who is junior to him in politics, Roy told a television channel ABP Ananda: “The question is not about senior or junior, it is about ability.”