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How widening rift finally led to Suvendu-TMC breakdown

Over the past several months, however, Suvendu Adhikari has distanced himself from the party, and has been conspicuously absent at both official party programmes and meetings of the Mamata Banerjee Cabinet.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya , Atri Mitra | Kolkata | November 28, 2020 6:13:59 am
suvendu adhikari, suvendu adhikari TMC, West bengal TMC, Sougata Roy, Bengal polls, India news, indian expressAt a rally in Sarai Bazar, the former minister lashed out at his former party for calling him a “traitor”. (File)

Suvendu Adhikari, who resigned as minister on Friday, has been an MP and MLA for the Trinamool Congress, and been in charge of the party’s organisation in several districts of West Bengal.

Over the past several months, however, he has distanced himself from the party, and has been conspicuously absent at both official party programmes and meetings of the Mamata Banerjee Cabinet.

Instead, he has participated in programmes outside the TMC banner, and has been speaking at public meetings and rallies organised across the state by an organization called ‘Dadar Anugami’ (Brother’s Followers). In his speeches he has hinted at his discontent against a section of leaders in the party.

The breach was most evident on November 10, when Adhikari and the TMC held separate rallies on ‘Nandigram Dibas’ in Nandigram. TMC leaders targeted Suvendu directly, and even dubbed him a “traitor”.

At 1 pm on Friday, Adhikari resigned as minister and chairman of Haldia Development Authority. He sent his resignation to the Chief Minister and to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. In his short resignation letter, he wrote to Mamata: “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.

“I thank you for giving me opportunity to serve the people of the state, which I did all through with commitment, dedication and sincerity.”

Soon afterward, Governor Dhakhar posted on Twitter: “Today at 1:05pm 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.”

Adhikari had resigned as chairman of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners on Thursday, and was replaced by TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee. On November 13, political strategist Prashant Kishor, who has been hired by the TMC for next year’s elections, visited Suvendu’s home in Contai and reportedly met his father and MP Sisir Adhikari.

On Friday evening, the Chief Minister met with the top leadership of her party, including Abhishek Banerjee, Subrata Bakshi, Firhad Hakim, Partha Chatterjee, and Arup Biswas, for two hours. Prashant Kishor was also present.

Sources said Mamata had told the meeting that the Suvendu Adhikari chapter had come to an end, and the TMC would come out on the streets and organise a movement against the BJP. “Didi did not said a word on Suvendu. She only said that we should keep our focus on the Assembly elections, and should start the movement from Saturday itself,” a senior leader said.

This leader also said that the TMC leadership had spoken with Sisir Adhikari, and that Sisir had said he would remain with the TMC.

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