Updated: February 12, 2021 10:16:13 pm
In a dramatic turn of events in the Rajya Sabha Friday, former Union Minister for Railways and Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Dinesh Trivedi, during his speech on the discussion on the budget, said that he was resigning from the Rajya Sabha saying he had reached an inflection point and that he was “feeling suffocated.”
Trivedi said that he was forced to make a decision, and had to follow his “conscience” after looking at “the kind of violence taking place in his state” of West Bengal and that he would continue to work for “Bengal and the country.”
Trivedi rose in the middle of the discussion on the budget and said that while he was listening to the speakers around him, he had reached a point of reflection. “Why do we come into politics? We come into politics for the country,” Trivedi said, saying that his conscience had made a decision.
Trivedi said that the world had been looking towards how India would move forward in the pandemic, and while there were contributions, the “netritva” was from the Prime Minister, in sentences that are sure to lead to speculation of him joining the BJP ahead of the assembly elections.
Trivedi, who has been with the TMC since 1998, was both Union Minister for Railways and Union Minister for State for Health and Family Welfare, a member of parliament from Barrackpore, and then a member of the Rajya Sabha said that while he was grateful for his party for the opportunity, he was bound by party disciple and was “feeling suffocation”.
He said that he felt an inability to do anything, and was unable to see the violence in his state, and was therefore resigning. In response, Deputy Chairman Harivansh told Trivedi that there was a procedure to be followed and that he would have to write to the Chairman who would take it up. In an increasing din in the house, Trivedi said that he would continue to “work for the country and for Bengal.”
Trivedi’s resignation comes just months before the assembly elections in West Bengal, which have seen a number of high profile defections from the TMC to the BJP in recent months, including minister Suvendu Adhikari and Rajib Banerjee. Trivedi had spent less than a year in the Rajya Sabha, after being sent to the upper house in March 2020, months after he lost the Lok Sabha election, as a two term incumbent, to Arjun Singh in the Barrackpore seat in 2019. Singh incidentally, was one of those that had switched to the BJP before the Lok Sabha elections, also from the TMC.
Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Chief Whip of the TMC in the Rajya Sabha said, “Trinamool” means grassroots. This will give us an opportunity to send a greassroots worker of ours soon to the Rajya Sabha.”
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