In a remarkable political progress, Mukul Roy – who now left the party after winning the assembly polls on a BJP ticket and re-merged the ruling TMC in presence of Mamata Banerjee – was selected the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in the West Bengal Assembly on Friday by Speaker Biman Banerjee.
Shortly after Roy was confirmed the PAC chairperson, there was uproar in the Assembly as BJP MLAs, driven by Leader of Opposition (LoP) Suvendu Adhikari, staged a walkout while raising slogans against this choice.
Adhikari alleged the ruling TMC of infringing the norms while confirming Roy as PAC chairperson. They wanted to make BJP MLA from Balurghat, Ashok Lahiri (former Chief Economic Adviser to Centre) to be the PAC chairperson.
On June 18, Adhikari delivered a petition before the Speaker of the State Assembly asserting that since Roy joined TMC on June 11 – he should be disqualified under the anti-defection law as he did not quit from the BJP before changing sides.
Legally, Mukul is still the BJP MLA (he has not withdrawn although being inquired several times by the BJP leaders) from the Krishnanagar North constituency in the Nadia district.
Since a leader from the opposition is usually made a chairman of the PAC – TMC played a masterstroke and made Roy PAC chairperson mentioning that he is legally a BJP MLA.
Also, the Speaker has the capacity to appoint the chairpersons of the various committees in the State Assembly.
There are 41 committees in the West Bengal Assembly and PAC is the most important one because it works as the audit body for the house.
Excited by the decision, the BJP leaders who escaped from the house claimed that opposition MLA is usually selected as the PAC chairman but the TMC abused their power by appointing Mukul Roy as PAC chairman.
Mukul began his political career with Youth Congress and during those phases he came nearer to Banerjee. Then, she was also a Youth Congress leader. Later, they along with other Youth Congress leaders discontinued from the Congress party and created the All India Trinamool Congress in January 1998.
Particularly – on December 17, 1997, Mukul Roy was the first to tie when Trinamool Congress was formed – a year before when it was officially established on January 1, 1998.
Since Roy was investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Saradha Ponzi scheme in 2015, his relationship with Mamata had turned dissatisfied.
On September 25, 2017, in a key setback for the TMC, Roy withdrew from the party’s working committee.
He officially merged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on November 3, 2017, and had said he is proud to get an opportunity to function under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Thus, soon after the Assembly poll aftermath in 2021 he expressed dismay over BJP leaderships in Bengal and rejoined TMC on June 11 in presence of Mamata Banerjee.
Then, welcoming Mukul in Trinamool Congress – party supremo Mamata Banerjee tagged his ‘Ghar Wapsi’ as ‘Old is Gold’.