NEW DELHI: Mamata Banerjee, who has already lost many of her key leaders to the BJP, was rocked by another round of resignation Thursday.
Suvendu Adhikari, who had prepared the ground for his exit from Trinamool by abandoning the MLA, today broke ties with the party by resigning from the primary.
However, as expected, he did not start on his own.
Trinamool MLA Jitendra Tiwari, who was the head of the Paschim Bardhaman District of the Trinamool Congress, also left the party.
Jitendra Tiwari was present at the closed-door meeting Suvendu held yesterday at TMC MP Sunil Mandal’s residency hours after he resigned from MLA.
Tiwari’s exit was expected after he went public against the party leadership over Asansol’s alleged negligence.
A few days ago he wrote to the state minister of municipal affairs Firhad Hakim, saying that the Asansol Municipal Corporation has been deprived of 2,000 crore of central funds as the state government had created obstacles in its selection in the smart city project.
And while Suvendu and Jitendra Tiwari’s exit was on the expected lines, Mamata received the third blow of the day when South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC) President Col. (R) Diptangshu Chaudhury also formally presented her with his resignation. .
He also resigned as advisor to the complaints and monitoring unit at the Prime Minister’s Office (CMO).
Several dissident leaders resigned after Suvendu
Hours after Suvendu’s resignation, many dissident leaders and activists began to resign from their respective party posts in West Bengal.
Dipankar Arora, aka Manik, who was the former president of Trinamool’s youth arm in Siliguri, resigned from the party, along with many others.
In Harishchandrapur, Malda district, the leader of the panchayat of the Trinamool Congress Dronacharya Banerjee has also resigned from the party. He sent his resignation to the president of the party bloc.
In Durgapur, Chandrashekhar Banerjee, president of the local municipality, resigned from his post. He sent his resignation to the mayor of Durgapur Dilip Kumar Agasthi.
TMC minimizes resignations
Trinamool leaders tried to downplay the resignation. TMC senior leader Subrata Mukherjee said: “TMC is a great party. The fate of the party does not depend on one or two people. Is it possible? See the large number of people who show up at Mamata Banerjee meetings.”
Mukherjee, who is also the state minister for panchayat and rural development, said Adhikari leaving the party could be a big problem for the media but not for party members.
“We (TMC) work for the people. Show us any other political party in the country that is going door to door,” he said, referring to TMC’s “Duare Sarkar” program.
MHA increases pressure on the central deputation of IPS officers
Although Mamata Banerjee was busy addressing rebellions in her party, the Center sent a new letter to her government to immediately relieve three IPS officers for the central deputation.
Five days after the West Bengal government declared it would not relieve the three IPS officers, the Center sent a new letter on Thursday, asking the state to release them immediately so they could take up their new posts.
The three officers – Bholanath Pandey (SP, Diamond Harbor), Praveen Tripathi (DIG, Presidency Range) and Rajeev Mishra (ADG, South Bengal) – were responsible for the safety of the head of BJP JP Nadda during his visit from 9 to 10 December in a politically unstable state.
The Center wants them moved due to the alleged non-compliance that led to an attack on Nadda’s convoy in the Diamond Harbor constituency of MP TMC and Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee. Several vehicles of the convoy were damaged and BJP leaders were injured in the attack.
A militant Mamata called the move “unconstitutional and unacceptable” and a “brazen attempt to control the state machine by proxy”, increasing tensions between the state and the center.
“This move, particularly before the elections, is against the fundamental principles of the federal structure. It is unconstitutional and completely unacceptable!” she said.
The governor writes to Mamata
Meanwhile, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar wrote a letter to Mamata Banerjee urging the state administration to take urgent action on the concerns expressed by former minister Suvendu Adhikari. Adhikari said he could be implicated “in false criminal proceedings for political motivation and revenge”.
The Governor said the involvement of politically inspired opponents in the criminal proceedings was unconstitutional and even criminal.
In the letter to the Prime Minister, Dhankhar said: “Please take note urgently and all planned measures on representing me by former Minister Suvendu Adhikari …”
Ex-Trinamool leaders can join the BJP
Mamata has maintained a courageous front despite the wave of resignations from the party and all the odds ahead of the assembly elections.
But it certainly faces an uphill task with the BJP determined to make huge forays into assembly elections.
There is intense speculation that former Trinamool leaders will join the BJP at Union Interior Minister Amit Shah’s gathering on Saturday in East Midnapore.