Former Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia on Monday announced that he had resigned from the Trinamool Congress. He also said that he was no longer associated with any political outfit, amid speculation that he might join the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Bhutia had quit international football in 2011 and joined the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress. He contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Darjeeling on the party’s ticket but lost to Bharatiya Janata Party’s SS Ahluwalia.

The footballer also contested the 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections from Siliguri but lost to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate Asok Bhattacharya.

In September 2017, Bhutia supported the demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland and thus went against the Trinamool Congress’ official line. “But my resignation from the Trinamool Congress will serve no purpose,” he said, according to The Times of India.