In a major jolt to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) ahead of the Assembly elections next year, Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari tendered his resignation on Friday.
Known to be a close aid of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Adhikari sent his resignation letter to the Chief Minister and also forwarded it Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar through email.
“I do hereby tender my resignation from my office as Minister. Steps may be taken for it’s immediate acceptance,” stated Adhikari in his resignation letter.
Adhikari, who had been distancing himself from the TMC for the last couple of months had already resigned from the post of the Chairman of the Hooghly River Bridge Commission (HRBC) and shunned his Z category security cover provided by the State Government.
However, he is yet to resign to as a TMC MLA and primary member of the party. TMC MP Sougata Roy, who was deputed by TMC to speak to Adhikari, said that during discussion he said that he had some grievances regarding the party.
“However, he told me that he wanted to be in TMC. He is still a TMC MLA and a primary member. His decision of resigning as Minister is entirely personal. It’s nothing conclusive. The discussion with him would stop only if he leaves the party,” said Roy.
TMC sources revealed that Adhikari was not happy with the party’s decision of doing away with post of district observer.
Sources close to Adhikari said that the main reason behind his resignation was the alleged offensive remarks against him made by a section of TMC leaders as he held several posts.
Known to be an ace organiser, Adhikari played a key role in the Nadigram land agitation in 2007 which catapulted Mamata Banerjee to power. Apart from his home district of East Medinipur he wields influence in about 40 Assembly constituencies in the districts of West Medinipur, Purulia, Jhargram, Bankura and Birbhum.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that if Adhikari decided to join BJP he would be welcomed.
TMC sources said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had accepted Adhikari's resignation. Later in the day, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar tweeted "In view of recommendation imparted by Hon’ble Chief Minister, West Bengal, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, the resignation dated 27.11.2020 of Shri Suvendu Adhikari, Minister is hereby accepted with immediate effect in exercise of the powers vested in me under Constitution."