The Trinamool Congress on Tuesday evening claimed to have “sorted out” all issues with rebel party leader Suvendu Adhikari following a meeting between the former minister and some senior party leaders.
TMC veteran and Lok Sabha MP Sougata Roy, and party MPs Sudip Bandopadhyay and Avishek Banerjee, besides political strategist Prashant Kishor, were present in the meeting with Adhikari.
“All issues have been sorted out. Hopefully, tomorrow he will make a statement and clarify his stand,” Roy said afterward.
Adhikari, who resigned as a state minister on Friday, however, did not make a comment; he did not reply to messages sent on his phone either. Asked for his reaction, his father, TMC MP Sisir Adhikari, said, “If it is true, I am happy.”
According to veteran leader Roy, the meeting took place in North Kolkata and lasted more than two hours. “We met with Suvendu at around 6pm. It was held in a very cordial atmosphere. Suvendu has some reservation on some issues…but he is very much with us.”
Roy said, “There was a need for a meeting to sort out all issues…. You cannot say a chapter has ended at any point of time in politics, but I am hopeful that tomorrow Suvendu will hold a press conference and will clarify his stand.”
A close aide said Adhikari returned home in Kanthi, Purba Medinipur, soon after the meeting. “In Kanthi, he will talk with his family and other close associates. He will probably announce his stand after that,” this aide said.
After Adhikari’s resignation from the Cabinet last week, there was speculation that would join the BJP. After Tuesday’s meeting, Lok Sabha MP and BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said, “This is an internal matter of the TMC. I will not say anything on this. But I have spoken about the suffocating situation within TMC, so anyone who wants to come with us, including Suvendu Adhikari, will be welcome in our party.”
Adhikari was seen as distancing himself from the TMC for the past several months – he was organising programmes without the party banner, and an outfit called ‘Dadar Anugami (Brother’s Followers)’ was placed in different places.
Adhikari, who was Minister in Charge of Transport, Irrigation and Water Resources, was known to have expressed his disappointment at the party for ostensibly not giving him the position he deserved, unlike other senior members. The difference became public on November 10, when TMC held a separate meeting to mark ‘Nandigram Day’ at Nandigram, while Adhikari held a rally at Tekhali More.