After months of open rebellion against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as he was moved out of the coveted agriculture department,Trinamool Congress MLA from Singur Rabindranath Bhattacharya has accepted the olive branch offered to him by party leaders.
Bhattacharya is all set to join as Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation,the ministry he had refused to take charge after the last Cabinet reshuffle.
(Trinamool Congress vice-president) Subrata Buxi gave me the proposal to join the office,and I said I would consider it favourably. It was not only Buxi,but other leaders like party general secretary Mukul (Roy),(Industry Minister) Partha (Chatterjee),(Labour Minister) Purnendu (Basu) all requested me to come back (to the Cabinet). I will take a decision, said Bhattacharya on Sunday.
The octogenarian,a retired school headmaster,had played a pivotal role in Mamatas Singur movement. Known for his clean image,he was made a minister after the party came to power. He was later made Agriculture minister. But soon after he was moved out to a non-significant Statistics and Programme Implementation Department,a peeved Bhattacharya refused to take charge of the ministry and returned to Singur. He had then said that he had no knowledge anything about statistics and programme implementation and could not do justice to the department.
He had accused some party leaders of being involved in extortion about which he said Mamata was aware.
Since his resignation was not accepted,he technically remained a minister,who had not taken the charge of his new ministry.
I dont know about the statistics department. Two officials of the department came to me and apprised me of the situation, he said.