Senior Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari tendered his resignation as West Bengal transport minister on Friday, reported PTI. This came a day after Adhikari resigned from his post of chairperson of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners.
Adhikari’s impasse with the TMC comes ahead of the Assembly elections of West Bengal, which will be held around April and May next year. The TMC leader was the face of the Nandigram movement that catapulted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to power in 2011.
The politician sent his resignation letter to Banerjee by fax and also forwarded the same to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. “I thank you for giving me an opportunity to serve the people of the state, which I did all through with a commitment, dedication and sincerity,” Adikari wrote.
While the TMC leader has given up his ministerial position, he remains a Trinamool legislator as he is yet to resign from the state Assembly. “Till then, there is hope to talk and ensure he stays,” TMC leader Saugata Roy told NDTV. “I think he has no plans to leave the party and is open to talks. I will keep trying.”
Over the past two weeks the Trinamool Congress put Roy on the job of talking to Adhikari and addressing his grievances. At least two meetings were held in Kolkata, but neither yielded a breakthrough, according to NDTV.
In recent weeks, Adhikari has criticised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party openly, choosing to address his political rallies under non-TMC banners. In the last two to three months, he skipped all party and Cabinet meetings as well.
An organisation called “Dadar Anugami [Brother’s followers]” in support of Adhikari has also come up in different parts of West Bengal, according to The Indian Express.
Trinamool Congress leaders say that Adhikari had been unhappy with the rise of Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, within the TMC. Besides, Adhikari is also believed to be displeased with the role of poll strategist Prashant Kishor in party affairs.
Hours after Adhikari resigned from the West Bengal Cabinet on Friday, state Bharatiya Janata Party President Dilip Ghosh said the saffron party has its doors open for the politician. Adhikari’s resignation heralds the “end of Trinamool Congress”, Ghosh claimed, adding that the party will “cease to exist” after he quits the party.
“The exit of Suvendu Adhikari from TMC is only a matter of time,” the BJP leader added. “There are several leaders of the ruling party who are disgruntled with its way of functioning. We have kept our doors open.”
Unidentified officials told The Indian Express that Adhikari is in contact with the central leadership of BJP and may soon join the saffron party in presence of the top leadership.