All is not well in Mamata Banerjee’s party. Trinamool Congress (TMC) stalwart and once Mamata close aide, Suvendu Adhikari’s resignation has had a domino effect in the cabinet as 5 more senior cabinet ministers ditched Mamata Banerjee in the last 72 hours. According to reports, Silbhadra Datta, TMC MLA from Barrackpore Assembly constituency in North 24 Parganas, has tendered his resignation from the party Friday.
While announcing his exit from the party, Dutta wrote in a letter to the party supremo Mamata Banerjee: “With due regards to you I am tendering my resignation as a member of All India Trinamool Congress as well as from all others positions held by me in the party and its associate organizations with immediate effect.”
Dutta was not the only one to abandon Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress party today. TMC leader Kabirul Islam, general secretary of the party’s minority cell, also tendered his resignation from the party post, reported news agency ANI.
These resignations came a day after Trinamool Congress leader and Chairman of South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC) Col. (Rtd) Diptangshu Chaudhury tendered his resignation from his post. Retd. Col Chaudhury also tendered his resignation as the Advisor of the CMO’s Grievance and Monitoring Cell. Chaudhury was the third TMC leader to have resigned from their various posts after Trinamool Congress (TMC) stalwart Suvendu Adhikari’s resignation Wednesday.
The other two leaders who had followed Adhikari’s suit were Asansol MLA Jitendra Tiwari who had quit as the Chairman, Board of Administrators, Asansol Municipal Corporation and Abhijit Acharya quit as Vice-President of Paschim Bardhaman. Meanwhile, many other resignations are taking place at the lower tiers of the party.
Earlier today, Jitendra Tiwari was seen leaving for Kolkata along with two more rebel TMC leaders.
Tiwari and Adhikari’s resignations came amid reports that they are likely to join the BJP in the next few days. Adhikari, in fact, is expected to join the BJP on Saturday, when Union home minister and former BJP president Amit Shah visits the poll-bound state.
Moreover, the party had expelled Kanishka Panda, who is perceived to a close aide of Adhikari. Panda, who was the general secretary of the party at East Midnapore, had reportedly questioned the party leadership for withdrawing Adhikari’s security.
The string of resignations, which comes ahead of West Bengal polls in April-May 2021, might bring in a lot of trouble for the chief of the ruling dispensation in West Bengal, who is eyeing at a third consecutive term. The political sphere is rife with rumours that the exodus of these TMC senior leaders are ascribed to Mamata Banerjee’s affinity towards election strategist Prashant Kishore and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
TMC senior leader Suvendu Adhikari tries to resign, but Bengal Assembly speaker rejects
These resignations, that too in a span of 72 hours must have surely come as a massive jolt to the Mamata Banerjee government, especially when the state is gearing up for the 2021 Assembly polls. Probably in a last ditched effort to save the sinking ship, Speaker Biman Banerjee refused to accept the resignation of Suvendu Adhikari today claiming that his resignation was not in a proper format.
According to reports, Speaker Biman Banerjee has asked Adhikari to meet him on Monday, saying the letter was not in order and he was not satisfied that it was “genuine and voluntary”.