If reports are to be believed, Trinamool Congress senior leader Suvendu Adhikari might be joining the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) shortly. His induction is likely to happen during Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the state later this week. According to a report by News 18, Adhikari is also expected to be given Z+ security by the Union home ministry, formalities for which are currently in process.
Adhikari has been expressing his disenchantment with Mamata Banerjee and has not been attending what he calls the party’s “apolitical” cabinet meetings and rallies for some time now. On November 27, Adhikari had finally put down his papers as the Transport and Irrigation Minister of West Bengal but remained a Trinamool MLA. Now, it is being speculated that the TMC senior leader will resign from the party on December 18, a day before Amit Shah is likely to reach the poll-bound West Bengal.
The exit of Suvendu Adhikari might prove fatal for TMC
Once considered to be a close aide of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the two-time former MP retains a lot of clout in the party and is believed to have sway in as many as 86 Assembly seats in Purulia, Murshidabad, Malda, West Midnapore, Jhargram, East Midnapore, Bankura and in Bishnupur. Suvendu’s departure will, in all likelihood, prove fateful for West Bengal’s ruling dispensation in 2021 assembly polls, as his exit may change the mathematics of these 86 assembly seats, where Suvendu Adhikari is believed to be an excellent taskmaster in booth management.
Influential TMC leader disgruntled with party’s top brass
Reportedly, Suvendu Adhikari has been skipping key cabinet meeting and holding rallies, not under the flag of Trinamool Congress or the posters of the party supremo. Mamata Banerjee had sent election strategist Prashant Kishor to Adhikari’s residence but he had refused to meet him. A desperate attempt was also made to pacify Adhikari through senior party leader Sougata Roy but the talks have remained ‘inconclusive.’
Now, the Trinamool Congress has decided that it will not take any further initiative to convince the disgruntled Adhikari to remain in the party.
Meanwhile, talking to News 18, BJP Vice President Mukul Roy confirmed that the decision had been taken and Suvendu Adhikari will join the party in the next 2 to 4 days.
BJP MP Arjun Singh opined that if TMC stalwart Suvendu Adhikari ditches Mamata Banerjee and joins BJP, then the TMC government will fall before 2021 Assembly elections in the state.
Suvendhu Adhikari was among the first leaders to switch from Congress to the TMC when it was founded by Mamata Banerjee. He is considered as one of the main architects of the Nandigram movement which had helped Mamata Banerjee led TMC to overthrow the 34-year left rule in the state. However, in recent months, Adhikari has been giving enough hints, both subtle and overt, that all is not well between him and the TMC top leadership. Adhikari’s ire is believed to be mainly directed at Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.