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Posted On : 7 Oct, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : New Delhi 
Mukul Roy likely to float new party, target WB panchayat polls
Suspended Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy is likely to float a new political outfit and target next year's panchayat polls in West Bengal to test the political waters in the state.

Roy has sparked rumours of joining the BJP after coming out with statements that seem to indicate a softening of stand towards the saffron party. However, BJP sources felt that Roy is likely to form his own political outfit to show off his political strength to it.

"I have candidates for every single seat for the first tier of panchyat polls. But I will chalk out my future course of action after I resign from Rajya Sabha," Roy told reporters here.

The suspended TMC leader is in the national capital to submit his resignation next week from his Rajya Sabha seat. He has already sought an appointment with the upper house Chairman to hand over his resignation in person.

Once the second-in-command in the TMC after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Roy was suspended for six years for "anti-party activities" after he said on September 25 that he would resign from the party after Durga Puja.

One of the founding members of the TMC, he said he will continue to play an active political role and is exploring various options, including floating his own party.

He remained tight-lipped on joining BJP but said he never thought it is a "communal party".

After his resignation from Rajya Sabha, he said, he is free to chalk out his own political path.

Roy was said to be the "mastermind" behind the Nationalist Trinamool Congress Party, a political outfit which registered itself with the Election Commission in 2015.

He claimed he is in touch with many "party workers and leaders of TMC" besides "many people who are dissatisfied" with the party.

After arriving in Delhi on Friday evening, he met Bengal Congress President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and expelled CPI(M) leader Ritabrata Banerjee today.

Incidentally, both Chowdhury and Banerjee had been in the news for their perceived closeness to BJP.

Roy has been maintaining distance from the party leadership for the last few months and was removed as the TMC vice-president after the party decided to revamp its structure.

He was earlier removed as the party's in-charge of Tripura where the TMC was steadily making inroads till its members switched over to the BJP earlier in 2017.

He earlier said, "I do not consider the BJP to be a communal force. It is a secular party. Had it been a communal party, it would not have been recognised by the Election Commission. When the TMC was formed, it had forged an alliance with the BJP. The alliance was there from 1998-2006, except for a few months during the (West Bengal) Assembly election in 2001."

Roy had also said the TMC would not have tasted success, had it not got the BJP's backing in its initial years.