Senior Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari, who has been at odds with the party's leadership, tendered his resignation as the state's transport minister on Friday amid speculations over his next political move.
Adhikari, the face of the Nandigram movement that catapulted Mamata Bannerjee to power in 2011, sent his resignation letter to the chief minister via fax, which he then forwarded to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar by e-mail.
"I do hereby tender my resignation from my office as Minister. Steps may be taken for its immediate acceptance. I am simultaneously by e-mail this to His Excellency-Governor of West Bengal, for doing the needful at his end," Adhikari said in the resignation letter. "I thank you for giving me an opportunity to serve the people of the state, which I did all through with a commitment, dedication and sincerity," he added.
On Wednesday, he had resigned as the chairman of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC). Adhikari has also shunned his Z-category security cover provided by the state government, sources said.
"Today at 1:05 pm a resignation letter of Mr. Suvendu Adhikari from office as minister addressed to Hon'ble Chief Minister has been forwarded to me. The issue will be addressed from constitutional perspective," the governor tweeted.
Today at 1:05 pm a resignation letter of Mr. Suvendu Adhikari from office as minister addressed to Hon’ble Chief Minister has been forwarded to me.— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) November 27, 2020
The issue will be addressed from constitutional perspective. pic.twitter.com/cxjF68uomH
The Trinamool Congress remained tight-lipped on the development, while the BJP said that the resignation was a reflection of the anger of TMC leaders against the party's top brass.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, however, declined to comment on speculation that Adhikari was joining his party. Sources close to Adhikari, who has not attended state cabinet meetings over the last few months, said that he was unhappy with the organisational rejig, carried out a few months ago.
MPs Sougata Roy and Sudip Bandopadhyay were deputed to talk to him and address his grievances, even as he continued to tour the state and lead rallies organised by his supporters but without the TMC's banner, an unusual act for any member of the party to indulge in.
Apart from his home district of East Midnapore, Adhikari has influence over at least 35-40 assembly segments located in West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and Jhargram, and parts of Birbhum -- the tribal-dominated Junglemahal region.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal assembly is likely in April-May next year.
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