- Mukul Roy a top leader and MP from Mamata Banerjee's party
- Considered estranged from her, has met with BJP leaders
- Won't tolerate this, Trinamool leaders said recently
Mr Roy met with top BJP leaders in Delhi in recent weeks, adding to the perception that he was "getting close to the BJP", said sources.
He said he was being "forced" to resign and was exiting the Trinamool "with heavy heart and pain." When asked if he would join the BJP next, he told NDTV, "After five days, I will explain everything. Today, I will not say a word, I will explain after puja," referring to the annual Durga Puja festival which is celebrated widely in Bengal.
The BJP has acknowledged that Mr Roy has been in touch with its leaders. "I came to know that Mr Roy is in touch with our central leaders. We will consider it if he wishes to join BJP," the party's Bengal Chief Dilip Ghosh said over the weekend.
Once the second-in-command of Bengal's ruling party, Mr Roy, a member of the Rajya Sabha, has been estranged from his boss, Ms Banerjee, for over a year now, reportedly because of the prominence she has accorded to her nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
Within the Trinamool, that has raised suspicion that he was being provided immunity by the BJP and could be supplying investigators with information that could compromise his colleagues in his own party.
"Under pressure from central agencies, for his own self-interest, Mukul Roy was trying to hurt the party from within," claimed the party's secretary general Partha Chatterjee.
In recent months, he had been removed as the party's in-charge of Tripura, where the Trinamool was seen as making gains till all its six legislators in the state switched to the BJP in August. He was last put in charge of Punjab.