Former footballer Bhaichung Bhutia on Monday confirmed that he has quit the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and is not associated with any political party. Bhutia had contested from Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat in 2014 and Siliguri Assembly constituency in 2016 on TMC tickets.
"As of today, I have officially resigned from the membership and all the official and political posts of All India Trinamool Congress party. I am no longer a member or associated with any political party in India," Bhutia tweeted.
The cracks between Bhutia and the TMC began to appear during the Gorkhaland agitation last year in Darjeeling hills. Bhutia had then expressed his unhappiness over the forceful measures adopted by the TMC-led West Bengal government to handle the Gorkhaland movement.
Bhutia, a Padma Shri recipient, joined the TMC in 2013. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Bhutia contested on a TMC ticket from Darjeeling seat and lost to BJP's SS Ahluwalia by close to two lakh votes.
In 2016, Bhutia contested the West Bengal Assembly elections but lost out to CPI(M) veteran Ashok Bhattacharya in Siliguri by a margin of 14,072 votes.