In a jolt to the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, West Bengal Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari resigned from his Cabinet post on Friday. He sent his resignation to the Chief Minister and emailed a copy to West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
The West Bengal Governor tweeted that he had received Ashikari’s letter of resignation from office and that the issue will be addressed from constitutional perspective.
Suvendu Adhikari represents West Bengal’s Nandigram constituency and for the past three months has made his discontent known within the party. He skipped party and cabinet meetings and attended rallies at which there were neither Trinamool banners nor portraits of Mamata Banerjee. A war of nerves had begun between Banerjee and Adhikari, reports said. They added that he is likely to quit the party too, however, Adhikari remains a member of the party and a MLA, for now.
It is said that the growing prominence of Mamata Banerjee nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who is the MP from Diamond Harbour, troubles Adhikari. He was also unhappy at the Trinamool’s growing reliance on poll strategist Prashant Kishor.
Reports said Banerjee sent Kishor to Adhikari’s East Midnapore residence. Kishor spoke to Adhikari’s father Sisir Adhikari, who is a TMC MP. Banerjee has now tasked senior TMC leader Sougata Roy with holding talks with Adhikari, and the latter has held several inconclusive meetings with him.
Adhikari holds influence in 35-40 Assembly constituencies that fall in the tribal Jangalmahal area. Adhikari is reported to be heading to Delhi on Saturday, however, the big question remains whether he will join the BJP. Reports said Adhikari may reconsider his decision if he gets more organisational control than Abhishek Banerjee.