After hours of intense fire-fighting, the Trinamool Congress staved off the embarrassment of have having yet another member of parliament walk out of the party and into the BJP.
After an hour-long meeting with Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata this evening, actor-turned-politician Shatabdi Roy said, “I am with the Trinamool. 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 Birbhum MP was scheduled to fly to Delhi tomorrow at 7 am amid speculation she was likely to meet Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah. She said this evening she had cancelled her Delhi trip.
Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh who had escorted Ms Roy to Mr Banerjee’s office at Camac Street at 7 pm after a meeting with her earlier in the day, said, “if party workers have any problems with the party they should speak up and get them resolved.”
The BJP, somewhat taken aback at this dramatic U-turn by Shatabdi Roy, said the episode exposed the fragile condition of the Trinamool.
“Shatabdi Roy has said she is not going to Delhi tomorrow but she has not said she will not go in future. The Trinamool Congress should introspect why one leader after another is behaving like this,” BJP state Vice-President Jay Prakash Majumdar.
So far, one MP and 7 MLAs have quit the Trinamool and joined the BJP.
On Thursday, Ms Roy had posted on her fan club Facebook page that she may have a decision to announce at 2 pm on Saturday.
She had said she was “mentally anguished” as she was not being allowed to be with people of her constituency and not invited to party events.
Reports from Birbhum district suggest issues with Trinamool’s district President Anubrata Mondal. Ms Roy told NDTV that organizers of events who did invite her were threatened and forced to cancel the engagements.
Soon after her social media post, Trinamool MP Saugata Roy tried to speak to her but could not connect. In fact, Shatabdi Roy was completely incommunicado all of last evening.
Today, not only Sougata Roy, other senior Trinamool leaders like Derek O’Brien also called her.
Kunal Ghosh, who visited Ms Roy at home, claimed BJP leader Mukul Roy had called her and told her to get in touch with him in Delhi tomorrow.
Mukul Roy has denied making any such call.
Around 7 pm Mr Ghosh and Shatabdi Roy went to Abhishek Banerjee’s office and emerged to declare that all problems were resolved.