West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party Trinamool Congress is getting one jolt after another. Suvendu Adhikari, once her most trusted man, resigned from the primary membership of the party. Almost simultaneously, another senior party leader Diptangshu Chaudhary also quit as the Advisor of the CMO’s Grievance & Monitoring Cell.
Both the leaders thanked Mamata for opportunities she gave them to work in the party. In his residence, Adhikari wrote: “I am tendering my resignation as a primary 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.”
He went on to write: “I am thankful for all the challenges and opportunities that has been accorded to me and I will always value my time spent as a member of the party.”
In the other resignation letter, Diptangshu wrote: “I do hereby tender my resignation from my office as Chairman, South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC) and also as Advisor, Monitoring Cell on Programme Implementation of Govt Welfare Services in Chief Minister’s Office (Grievance & Monitoring Cell).” He also wrote: “I am also informing the same by email to his excellency Governor of West Bengal, being the constitutional head of the State.”
Adhikari had met Chaudhary, TMC president of Pashchim Burdwan unit Jitendra Tiwari, and councillor of Guskara municipality Nityanand Chattopadhyay. It is not clear whether Tiwari and Chattopadhyay will follow suit or not.
Meanwhile, West Bengal assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee has rejected Adhikari’s resignation saying: “Norms were not followed while Suvendu tendered his resignation. It is under my examination and unless the final order is passed, it cannot be constituted that the resignation is accepted or rejected.”
Reacting to Adhikari’s resignation, Mamata said that “people who won’t get a ticket are going away”. Addressing a rally, she said that the BJP was “attacking the TMC”, adding “TMC is as deep rooted as a Banyan tree”. She was apparently making an oblique reference to rumours floating around that Adhikari is about to join the BJP.
On the political chequerboard of West Bengal, all these moves are being made with the coming assembly elections in mind, due in April-May 2021. Union Home Minister Amit Shah is visiting the state in a couple of days and Adhikari is expected to join the BJP at Medinipur town in West Midnapore district on Saturday.
Adhikari has written to West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar and urged him to intervene as he apprehended that he and his followers would be “implicated in criminal cases”. This assumes significance as Dhankar has often been targetted by those considered close to Mamata. Invoking Dhankar’s name seems like a deliberate provocation from both Adhikari and Chaudhary.
Mohua Moitra, MP, considered a loyalist of Mamata, had tweeted some controversially comments about Dhankar recently after BJP chief J P Nadda was attacked while on a tour to West Bengal. Terming Dhankar as a proxy of the BJP, Moitra had questioned his impartiality and called him “Uncleji” in a mocking tone.