West Bengal Transport Minister Adhikari Resigns; Will TMC's Loss Be BJP's Gain?
Kolkata: The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) received a jolt on Friday as Suvendu Adhikari, the Transport and Irrigation Minister and a senior party member, resigned from his post.
Suvendu Adhikari, the face of Jangalmahal and once a trusted aide of TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, also resigned from his post as chairman of Haldia Development Authority.
Adhikari, however, remains a Trinamool Congress MLA as he has not resigned from the state assembly.
"I do hereby tender my resignation from my office as Minister. Steps may be taken for its immediate acceptance," Adhikari wrote to the chief minister.
Speculation has been rife over the last few weeks on the Nandigram MLA and former MP being unhappy with the party's style of functioning of late.
He organised rallies, independent of the party banner in Nandigram, which saw bloody battles during the Left Front regime and also catapulted Mamata to power. Adhikari has also been skipping all party and cabinet meetings.
There has been talk of Adhikari joining the BJP, and his resignation from the cabinet is being seen by many as a step in that direction.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said Adhikari is 'welcome' to join the party, while national general secretary Anupam Hazra described Adhikari's move as a 'welcome step'.
Adhikari, for his part, has been saying that he will go public on his stand soon.
"I will soon open up to the public. I have not arrived by parachute or by a lift, I have reached where I am by climbing up the stairs, one step at a time," Adhikari had said from a non-TMC platform while celebrating Nandigram day earlier this month.
According to TMC insiders, Adhikari was unhappy at Mamata's nephew and Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee being given more importance, and also with poll strategist Prashant Kishor being roped in after the BJP bagged as many as 18 seats out of 42 in the state in last year's general elections.