Former Governor and senior BJP leader Tathagata Roy on Saturday said that he only pointed towards a media report on turncoat Rajib Banerjee’s induction in the party’s ‘national executive’ and simultaneously his desperation for a ‘ghar wapsi’ in the Trinamool Congress.
Speaking to News18.com, Roy said, “My tweet was based on a media report and it was not my personal opinion. But my question is who pushed/recommended his name for the national executive. There are media reports that he is desperate to go back to TMC. I believe from now onwards, the BJP leadership should avoid ‘jogdan mela’ (joining program) of people who don’t believe in the ideology of the party.”
“I have sent a 10 page letter to BJP national president JP Nadda after the Assembly Poll debacle in West Bengal. I pointed out suggestions and blunders made by the party in the State. We also discussed the matter over the telephone. I suggested to him to avoid people of different ideologies in the ‘jogdan mela’ otherwise they will come and they will go for personal interest. This is exactly what is happening now in Bengal after the poll results. Many leaders came from TMC and now again they are going back. This is very embarrassing for the party. Induction of such people in the party proved disastrous,” he said.
On October 8, while referring to Rajib Banerjee, the former Governor had said in a tweet, “West Bengal BJP embarrassed, Rajib Banerjee taken into BJP National Executive as Special Invitee, while he was negotiating for re-entry into Trinamool. The state unit was not even consulted. So upon whose recommendation? What is happening?”
While referring to party leaders like Kailash Vijayvargiya, Dilip Ghosh, Shivprakash and Arvind Menon, he further tweeted, “This is very similar to KDSA team in BJP nominating Somen Mitra’s widow Shikha Mitra for the prestigious Chowringhee seat in West Bengal Assembly election. Shikha rejected it with contempt, saying she never had anything to do with the BJP.”
When asked his opinion about Kailash Vijayvargiya, Dilip Ghosh, Shivprakash and Arvind Menon and their role in Bengal’s politics, he said, “Whatever I had to say, I have already mentioned about them in my series of tweets on May 6. They laid down the whole party. They laid down the image of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Please go through my tweets to get a clear picture about my opinion about these leaders.”
On May 6, four days after the West Bengal poll results were declared, Roy had tweeted, “Kailash-Dilip-Shiv-Arvind (KDSA) foursome have dragged the names of our respected Prime Minister and Home Minister through mud and have sullied the name of the biggest political party in the world. Sitting atop Agarwal Bhavan of Hastings (W Bengal BJP’s election headquarters).”
“They have distributed tickets (from 7-star hotels) to incoming garbage from Trinamool. Now faced with abuse from party workers they’re staying put there,hoping the storm will blow over. These people have heaped the worst possible insults on ideologically driven BJP workers and devout Swayamsevaks who had been working relentlessly for the party since 1980s. Now those very people are suffering the worst persecution from Trinamoolis. But KDSA won’t go to their rescue, won’t even exhort them to fight back. Instead they are trying to draw comfort from having raised BJP’s tally from 3 to 77. A substandard, uninspired, mercenary bunch of people with no political insight, no analytical abilities, no sense of Bengali sensitivities. Education up to Class VIII and a fitter mistri’s certificate. What do you expect?” excerpts of his tweet reads.
On media reports that Kailash Vijayvargiya and Arwind Menon will once again take charge of Bengal, he said that as far as he had information, there will be a new team very soon. “Maybe in the coming two weeks, the new team will be announced.”
While claiming that there is resentment in the party because the old party leaders were ignored and turncoats were given importance, he said he is not going to play an active role in the party because anyone above the age of 75 years cannot be in active politics in BJP and he was 76-years old. “I can work as an advisor and thought leader and for that I don’t need a post,” he said.
In the context of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, he said, “First, we have to cross the Uttar Pradesh poll hurdle in 2022. It will decide the fate of the 2024 Lok Sabha poll. But I think it will be an easy fight for the BJP in 2024..who will counter Narendra Modi…Mamata Banerjee?…It’s ridiculous.”
On his reservation against changing the name of West Bengal to just ‘Bengal’, he said, “I spoke to Rajnath Singh (when he was the Home Minister) regarding this and I requested him not to approve it. He assured me that he will not change it.”
He said the justification is very simple. “Why do we need to change the name of West Bengal at all? Interested parties (hinting at Trinamool Congress and the Communists) want to change the name because they don’t want us to remember that there was once an ‘East Bengal’. The partition was an unfinished business.”
Meanwhile, BJP national executive member Rajib Banerjee told News18.com that he had “not gone through his tweets” and therefore would not like to make any comments.
When asked to clarify his stand on media reports that he is trying hard to reach out to TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and general secretary Abhishek Banerjee for ‘ghar wapsi’, he said he was not aware of such a report and that presently he was not in a position to respond to it.
Kailash Vijayvargiya, Arvind Menon and Shivprakash were not available for comments.
TMC MP Sukhendu Shekhar Roy refused to make any comments on Tathagata Roy, claiming that he doesn’t take his tweets seriously.
Tathagata Roy was born on September 14, 1945. He was Governor of Tripura from 2015 to 2018 and Governor of Meghalaya from August 2018 to the end of his term on August 19, 2020.
He was a member of the BJP National Executive, the party’s central policy-making body, from 2002 until 2015.
Roy briefly had additional charge of the office of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh from July 2016 till August 2016, during which he handled the ouster of Chief Minister Kalikho Pul following a Supreme Court judgement, and swore in Pema Khandu as the new Chief Minister.