Nearly three weeks after resigning as West Bengal Transport minister, rebel Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari on Wednesday submitted his resignation as an MLA to the Assembly Speaker and subsequently met a few other rebel party leaders, one of whom said that the likes of them have “no option but to join BJP”.
Adhikari, who has a big support base in Medinipur area, reached the Assembly around 3.30 pm and met the Assembly Secretary. He submitted his handwritten resignation to the Speaker’s office.
Adhikari represented Nandigram constituency in Purba Medinipur district and was the face of the Nandigram movement, which catapulted Mamata Bannerjee to power in 2011.
After submitting his resignation, Adhikari went to the residence of Sunil Mondol, Trinamool MP from Barddhaman Purba constituency. Among party leaders, who are also seen as being upset with the Trinamool leadership, present there were Col Diptangshu Chowdhury, chairman of South Bengal State Transport Corporation; Jitendra Tiwari, former mayor and current administrator and TMC president of Paschim Burdwan unit; and Nityananda Chattopadhyay, councillor of Guskara municipality.
Chattopadhyay told the media, “I faced problems in the party; I wrote to the higher-ups, but there were no solutions. We are old-timers and have been loyal to the party. But now we have no other way than to join BJP.”
No other leader present there spoke with the media.
Adhikari, who had been distancing himself from the party over the last few months and addressing rallies outside the party banner, is seen as a candidate for joining the BJP. While there has been speculation that he may join the saffron party during Home Minister Amit Shah’s two-day visit to West Bengal this weekend, and before that may meet top BJP leaders in the national capital, BJP leaders did not speak on the issue.
BJP general secretary and the party’s West Bengal in-charge, Kailash Vijayvargiya, said, “He (Adhikari) is a very dynamic leader. If he wants to join BJP, he will be welcomed but it will depend on his decision.”