Mamata shrugs off `l'affaire' Mukul Roy, calling her former aide a 'BJP MLA'

Though he has physically improved, his doctors remained unsure of his mental functioning. Roy underwent a surgery for hydrocephalus, a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain.
Mamata shrugs off `l'affaire' Mukul Roy, calling her former aide a 'BJP MLA'

Kolkata | Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shrugged off ‘l'affaire' Mukul Roy- the desertion and flight to Delhi - by her ailing trusted lieutenant for a second time, simply stating on Wednesday that the maverick politician “is BJP's MLA, it's his affair if he wants to go to Delhi".

Roy who had helped found the party which Banerjee leads in 1998, deserted her in 2017 for the BJP after facing a number of charges levelled by the CBI in the Narada case, only to come back in 2021 after winning the assembly election on a saffron party ticket, complaining of ill-treatment there.

For the last two years, Roy was hardly visible in public life and in and out of hospitals, though he clung on to both his MLA-ship which many thought he would resign from, to fight again as a TMC candidate as well as the chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee which by tradition goes to an opposition MLA. Though he did ultimately resign from the PAC's chairmanship, perhaps on sound advice by his colleagues in the TMC.

On Monday, his son Subhrangshu, an upcoming TMC leader filed a missing person report with the police, saying Mukul Roy was missing from home. When he discovered that his father was on a flight to Delhi, he even tried to get the airline flying the politician to off-board the man, pleading he was suffering from dementia.

Roy reached Delhi and the next day declared that he was in town to meet top BJP leaders and he had taken the step on his own, even though some of his assertions conflicted with each other.

Earlier, speaking to a Bengali news channel, Roy had claimed that he was "never a MLA and has always been a member of the Parliament," and then said he had a right to be in Delhi as "as a Delhi MP and MLA". He also said he has to fight the CPI(M) and then went on to say that there is a need to fight CPI(M), Congress and TMC.

On Wednesday in a telephonic interview to PTI from New Delhi, Roy said the saffron camp would do well in the upcoming panchayat polls in Bengal, and the party would easily achieve the target of winning 35 plus Lok Sabha seats in 2024 set by Amit Shah last week.

"I am absolutely fit and fine. Some people are spreading rumours that I am unwell, but this is not true. I am a BJP MLA and have come here to be with the party. I want to work for my party BJP. I was never mentally with the TMC after I left it," the 69-year-old politician said.

He asserted he would soon meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda and start working for the BJP.

All this happened as the family pleaded that he was suffering various ailments and needed help through a series of press statements and press conferences.

Banerjee took note of the family's concerns while speaking to press reporters at Nabanna on Wednesday and carefully said her state's “administration would look into and act on the complaint made by his son that Roy was missing”.

However, beyond that, observer in the city felt, that she had reconciled herself to the loss of Mukul Roy, whose political value at the current juncture may be one of being an embarrassment to both her and the party which supports him. Though it is yet to be evaluated what embarassing revelations Roy may make in the weeks to come.

A physician who had looked after him confirmed that Roy underwent a surgery for hydrocephalus, a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain, which may cause brain damage last month and has been suffering from both from Dementia and Parkinson's.

"Mr Roy's (physical) health has improved a lot compared to what it was a month back. He is physically fit to travel, but how much he has regained his mental functioning is yet to be ascertained,” eminent Neurosurgeon Dr S N Singh told PTI.

Dementia is a condition in which a person may lose cognitive functioning, which includes thinking, remembering, and reasoning, to an extent. Parkinson's disease on the other hand is a neurological disorder which affects the nervous system.

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