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Suvendu Leaves Mamata Ministry

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West Bengal Transport Minister and once a major honcho in the ruling Trinamool Congress, Suvendu Adhikari, has resigned from his position on Friday, 27 November.

Adhikari sent in his resignation to the West Bengal government and the Governor of West Bengal, Jagdeep Dhankhar.

The Governor confirmed his resignation via a tweet.

“Today at 1:05 pm 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,” said Dhankhar in his tweet.

On 26 November, the former minister had resigned from his position as Chairman of the Hooghly River Bridge Commission (HRBC), a statutory body under the Transport Department.

At Odds with The Party

Adhikari has been having a fallout with his party, the TMC, for months now and had recently started holding “independent” rallies for himself in an act of open rebellion against the party.

“I’m the primary member of a party. I’m a minister in the cabinet. The chief minister has made me a minister. She has not fired me and I have not left on my own,” Adhikari said at one such rally last week.

Son of a Congressman, Shishir Adhikari, who has been with Mamata since she started the Trinamool, Suvendu started as a municipal councillor before being elected MLA from Dakshin Kanthi in East Midnapore in 2006.

In 2007, he was instrumental in the Nandigram anti-land acquisition protests, which ultimately was one of the key reasons for the downfall of the Left government in 2011.

Suvendu then went on to win the Lok Sabha elections from the Tamluk constituency in 2009, and was subsequently made in-charge of the Maoist riddle Jangalmahal area, then a CPI(M) bastion.

In 2011, when Mamata Banerjee beat the Left with a resounding margin, “Pahar hasche, Jangalmahal hasche” (Hills are smiling, Jangalmahal is smiling) became a Trinamool war cry. Clearly, Suvendu has delivered.

Thereafter, he also made significant inroads for the Trinamool in Malda and Murshidabad, increasing his clout and importance in the party.

However, tensions started simmering when Abhishek replaced Suvendu as the Trinamool Youth Wing President in 2015.

That notwithstanding, he was made minister after being elected from Nandigram in 2016, and was still known as one of Mamata’s top lieutenants.

In July 2019, Abhishek Banerjee was instrumental in bringing onboard political strategist Prashant Kishor and his consultancy firm I-PAC to run the Trinamool’s 2021 campaign.

This was an interesting time in Trinamool power politics. Mukul Roy had made his exit and after the Lok Sabha debacle, there was no clear number 2.

Kishor’s “clean-up” drive within the party meant that dissenters who were looking for more power and status, like Suvendu, were increasingly sidelined. More organisational power within the party also slipped away.

In top-level meetings with party leaders conducted over the last week, sources say, that Suvendu has made his problems with Abhishek and Kishor running the party.

As he’s finally resigned as minister, all eyes now on whether he is headed to the BJP, which has already promised to welcome him with open arms.

Courtesy – The Quint

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