Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday carried out a major reshuffle in the party set-up, giving additional responsibilities to her close confidants and elevating former union minister Dinesh Trivedi to vice-president’s post in an exercise that left her close aide Mukul Roy out in the cold.
“Trinamool Congress has appointed Subrata Bakshi, a party MP, as additional all-India general secretary. He is a founder-member of the party,” party secretary-general Partha Chatterjee told reporters after the meeting.
Mukul Roy, who has been made to share responsibility as all-India general secretary with Bakshi, a staunch Mamata loyalist, was conspicuous by his absence from the closed-door meeting convened at Mamata’s residence to discuss the party’s preparedness for the coming civic polls.
Roy, a Rajya Sabha member who was recently quizzed by CBI in the Saradha chit fund scam, not being given additional responsibilities that were given to some of his party colleagues, came amid media speculation of strained ties between him and the party supremo.
Asked to explain the absence of Roy, a key party organiser, Chatterjee said “he (Roy) is busy with political activities and has been absent at the meeting by taking prior permission from the party”.
Roy had recently said that he was part and parcel of the party, when asked if there was a rift between him and the party leadership.
He also participated in the party’s campaign for the by-election to Bongaon Lok Sabha and Krishnaganj Assembly seats in West Bengal which was held yesterday.
Chatterjee said party MP Derek O’Brien, state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim and party Lok Sabha member Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar were elevated to the national committee of the party.
He said O’Brien and the party Lok Sabha member Kalyan Banerjee would liason with like-minded parties.