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West Bengal Minister Suvendu Adhikari quits Cabinet

Suvendu Adhikari.   | Photo Credit: ASHOKE CHAKRABARTY

In what can be an indication of severance of his ties with the Trinamool Congress, West Bengal Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari on Friday resigned from the Cabinet led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Mr. Adhikari, also holds the portfolio of Irrigation. He has sent his resignation both to the Chief Minister and the Governor

 “Today at 1.05 pm a resignation letter of Mr. Suvendu Adhikari from office as Minister has been forwarded to me. The issue will be addressed from constitutional perspective,” Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar tweeted, sharing the screen shot of the resignation letter on social media. In the resignation letter, Mr. Adhikari has urged for “immediate acceptance” of his resignation. “ I thank you for giving me opportunity to serve the people of the State, which I did all through with commitment, dedication and sincerity,” he said.

Support base of his own 

According to sources close to the leader, he has also given up the security provided by the government. On Thursday, the prominent Trinamool Congress leader had resigned from the post of chairperson of the Hooghly River Bridge Commission (HRBC). The 49-year-old-leader, who has a support base of his own and had played a crucial part in the forcible land acquisition at Nandigram, has been charting a different course for himself for the past several months. In the past couple of months, he has held several rallies in his individual capacity without the symbols and flags of the Trinamool Congress. His posters have come up in almost every district of the State, including in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. 

Despite quitting the post of Minister and seeking withdrawal of security, Mr. Adhikari remains an MLA and has so far not resigned from the party.

The Trinamool Congress deputed senior MP Saugata Roy to speak to him. Mr. Roy held a few meetings with Mr. Adhikari, but it seems he has not been able to break the ice.

Trinamool goes into a huddle 

While Mr. Roy maintained that Mr. Adhikari remained a TMC MLA and a party member, the Bengal ruling party went into a huddle to assess the situation. Senior leaders like Firhad Hakim, Subrata Bakshi and Partha Chatterjee held a meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence. 

Party sources said the Chief Minister had not accepted resignation of Mr. Adhikari.

BJP says doors open 

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said Mr. Adhikari had given ample hints and the decision today was only a matter of time. 

“Our doors are open for him. Senior leaders like Mukul Roy have come and are working with us,” he noted. He described the development as the “beginning of end of the Trinamool Congress”.

TMC MLA for Delhi 

In another development, Mihir Goswami, TMC MLA from Coochbehar Dakshin, has left for Delhi and is likely to join the BJP. 

Mr. Goswami, who has been vocal against the TMC seeking the services of political strategist Prashant Kishore on Thursday, has said that he has decided to quit the party. He resigned from the primary membership of the party on Friday.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 6:02:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bengal-minister-suvendu-adhikari-quits-cabinet/article33191963.ece

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