Ahead of Amit Shah's visit to Mamata Banerjee's turf, resignations pour in at TMC office
Kolkata, Dec 19: Cracks in the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) widened on Friday as the party suffered a list of resignations. Starting with the resignation of TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari, two more MLAs -- Shilbhadra Dutta and Banasri Maity -- resigned from Mamata Banerjee's party, ahead of the West Bengal assembly elections.
However, it can be seen that these resignations came a day before Union home minister Amit Shah's two-day Bengal visit, have triggered speculation that all or some of these rebel TMC leaders may join the BJP in his presence on Saturday.
After Suvendhu Adhikari, TMC MLA from Barrackpore Shilbhadra Dutta too resigned from the party. It can be seen that Dutta is a two-term MLA and said he has sent his resignation letter to TMC chief Mamata Banerjee by email.
"I think that I am unfit in the party in the present scenario. But, I will not resign as an MLA," he told reporters. "Why should I resign as an MLA? I have won by people's votes. If I go (resign) away, where will they go?" he added.
The other resignation came from Uttar Kanthi MLA Banasri Maity, who tendered her resignation from the party's primary membership and from all posts that she held in the party.
Maity comes from a region that is considered to be a stronghold of Suvendhu Adhikari in East Midnapore district.
Meanwhile, TMC MLA Jitendra Tiwari, who said he has quit the party, made a U-turn saying he is still in the party and will continue to be in Mamata's party. This decision came following his meeting with state minister Arup Biswas.
On Thursday, Jitendra stepped down as chief of Asansol's civic body. Following his resignation, Jitendra Tiwari heaped praises on Suvendhu Adhikari and hailed him as the second-most important leader in the Trinamool Congress after Mamata Banerjee.
"There is no point in continuing in the TMC as I am not being allowed to work for the people," Tiwari was earlier quoated as saying. Tiwari said he decided to leave the party after his MLA office was attacked at the "behest of a senior TMC leader" after he stepped down as chief of Asansol's civic body.
The shower of resignations in the TMC is important because it comes a day before Amit Shah's two-day visit to poll-bound West Bengal. During the visit that starts on Saturday, Amit Shah will hold a series of meeting, have lunch with a farmer's family and address a rally in Midnapore.
It is allegedly said that Suvendu Adhikari, who besides quitting the party also gave up cabinet portfolios in the Mamata Banerjee government, may join BJP during Amit Shah's visit. It is being speculated that some other disgruntled TMC leaders, including MLAs like Silbhadra Dutta, may as well join the BJP.
On the first day of his visit, Union home minister Amit Shah will attend a meeting with NIA officials. He will then will visit Swami Vivekanada's residence in north Kolkata. Later, he will travel to Midnapore.
On Sunday, the home minister will visit the Visva- Bharati university in Shantiniketan and lead a roadshow in Bolpur, which will be followed by a press conference.