Rumblings within the ruling TMC in West Bengal came to the fore Thursday when minister Suvendu Adhikari resigned as chairman of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC), and party MP Kalyan Banerjee was named to the post with immediate effect.
Minister for transport, irrigation and water resources, Adhikari has been distancing himself from the TMC for several months now, organising programmes without the party banner. Posters of ‘Amra Dadar Anugami’ (We are the followers of Dada) have been put up by his supporters at several places, and there’s intense speculation that he may leave the TMC for BJP ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal next year.
Adhikari was not available for comment Thursday, but a close aide, who is also a TMC leader, said, “It (his resignation from HRBC) can be treated as the start of his exit from the TMC.”
Adhikari’s father and TMC MP Sisir Adhikari said he heard on TV that his son had resigned from the HRBC. He said if the Chief Minister thinks Kalyan Banerjee is a more appropriate candidate for the chairman’s post, then it’s up to her and “I have no comment on that”.
A senior TMC member said, “The Adhikari family always decides as a family. So, if Suvendu decides to quit the party, then it is inevitable that his father and two brothers will also leave. We have to see what happens next.”
Meanwhile, Cooch Behar Dakshin MLA Mihir Goswami has also left the TMC.
“On October 3rd after announcing my resignation from all organisational responsibilities of the Trinamool Congress, I had also said that I can also resign from the post of MLA if the party supremo instructs. It has already been two months. I regularly share my thoughts with people on social media about my thoughts. Those who have welcomed my thoughts, I would like to tell them again that over the last ten years, I have been repeatedly neglected and humiliated within the party as a dedicated worker,” Goswami said in a social media post.
“The state leadership of the party has remained silent and has also supported it. Despite repeated statements made by me, I witnessed no change. Today, I realise that the party I had joined about twenty two years ago is not the same anymore. There is no place for me in this party. So today I want to end all ties with this Trinamool Congress. I hope my long-time friends and well-wishers will forgive me,” he said.
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A two-term MLA from Cooch Behar Dakshin, Goswami resigned from all party posts, accusing poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s I-PAC of interference. Once a TMC stronghold, Cooch Behar went the BJP way in the last Lok Sabha elections.