Former West Bengal minister Suvendu Adhikari has resigned from all the positions he held in the Trinamool Congress, ANI reported on Thursday. Earlier, Adhikari had quit from the membership of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, clearly indicating that his departure from the party was imminent.
“I am writing to tender my resignation as a member of All India Trinamool Congress as well as from all other positions held by me in the party and its associate organs with immediate effect,” the letter from Adhikari read. “I am thankful for all the challenges and opportunities that has been afforded to me and I will always value my time spent as a member of the party.”
Shortly after this, another disgruntled MLA Jitendra Tiwari quit the Trinamool Congress, PTI reported. Tiwari first resigned as the chief of the Asansol Municipal Corporation. He hailed Adhikari as the second-most important leader of the TMC after party chief Mamata Banerjee.
The development came days after he accused the state government of depriving the industrial city of central funds under the smart city project.
“I have resigned from the post of the chairman of the board of administrators of Asansol Municipal Corporation,” Tiwari told reporters. “If I am not allowed to work, what will I do with the post? So, I have resigned.”
Tiwari, an MLA from Pandebswar, also alleged that his office was ransacked after his resigned from the civic body post on “instructions from Kolkata”, according to ANI. Before this, Tiwari had also resigned from the board of governors of a college in Asansol.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that Adhikari may join the Bharatiya Janata Party during Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the state on December 19.
On November 27, Adhikari had resigned as West Bengal transport minister. A day earlier, the prominent Trinamool Congress leader had resigned from the post of chairperson of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners.
Shortly after Adhikari quit from West Bengal’s Legislative Assembly, BJP Vice President Mukul Roy and the party’s state unit chief Dilip Ghosh said the saffron party would be happy to welcome him.
Adhikari, a two-term MP, had been in charge of the TMC in several districts, including Malda, Murshidabad, Purulia and Bankura. The 49-year-old-leader has a crucial support base in the state. He was also the face of the Trinamool Congress in the 2008 Nandigram movement, which by many accounts, was a major factor in the unseating of the Left Front government in the state in 2011.
On Tuesday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee obliquely referred to Adhikari at a rally in Jalpaiguri district. She accused rebels of profiting from the Trinamool Congress and now seeking other options.
Meanwhile, five local Trinamool Congress leaders in Malda district also tendered their resignations on Thursday, reported India Today. The party’s heads of Gobindapur-Maheshpur, Bamon Gola, Pakua Hat, Joggodol and Chandpur all under the Bamongola Block were among the leaders who resigned.
“Committees are being formed in every region of the district,” Trinamool Congress’ Malda coordinator Babla Sarkar told the news channel. “Five new committees have to be made in Bamongola block. The resignations are not important.”
Before his resignation, Adhikari had criticised Chief Minister Banerjee’s party openly, choosing to address his political rallies under non-TMC banners. In the last two to three months, he had skipped all party and Cabinet meetings as well.
Trinamool Congress leaders said that Adhikari had been unhappy with the rise of Banerjee’s nephew within the TMC. Besides, Adhikari is also believed to be displeased with the role of political strategist Prashant Kishore in party affairs.