Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi on Friday resigned from the party, saying he feels "suffocated and helpless". The veteran party leader has now handed over his resignation to M Venkaiah Naidu, the Vice-President of India and Chairman of the Upper House.
Trivedi, while making the announcement on the floor of the House today, said, "I am resigning from the party as there is violence in my state, I am grateful to my party that it sent me here. I am feeling suffocated that we are not able to do anything over violence in the state."
"I will continue to serve the people of Bengal but my soul tells me that if you can't do anything sitting here, then resign," Trivedi added.
Trivedi, Mamata's once 'right-hand-man'
An old associate of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee, Trivedi was once regarded as her right-hand man.
The former Union Railway Minister was instrumental in Mamata's initial days when she split from the Congress and formed her own party.
He was a regular and popular face of the party in Delhi. But as the clout of the state leaders grew, he was gradually marginalised. In the Rajya Sabha, Derek O'Brien was named the party's leader of the House, despite Trivedi being the senior.
In the 2019 General Election, Trivedi lost the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat to the BJP, but was sent to the Rajya Sabha by Mamata.
Called 'ungrateful' by TMC
Post-resignation from the Rajya Sabha, Trivedi was called "ungrateful" by the Trinamool Congress, while a jubilant BJP quickly extended its welcome to him to join the saffron camp.
Reacting to the resignation, Trinamool Congress leader Sukhendu Shekhar Ray said that now a "grassroots" worker can be sent to the Rajya Sabha.
Reacting to the development TMC Rajya Sabha deputy leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said Trivedi is "ungrateful."
"For the last so many years he (Trivedi) did not say anything. Now all of a sudden just months before the state assembly poll he has complaints. This shows his true colours," Roy said.
"He is ungrateful and has betrayed the trust of the masses," Roy added, "Now a 'grassroots' worker can be sent to the Rajya Sabha."
Echoing him, party colleague and Lok Sabha MP Sougata Roy said, "People like Trivedi enjoy power during their tenure and leave at the time of elections. If he had grievances, he could have aired it in the party."
BJP offers a hand
An elated saffron camp, on the other hand, said, "The beginning of the end of the TMC has already begun".
The BJP said that Trivedi will be welcomed if he joins the party to defeat Mamata Banerjee. Speculation is rife that he may be sent to the Rajya Sabha by the BJP from Gujarat.
Claiming that TMC will disintegrate soon, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said "It is only a matter of time before the party disintegrates. If Dinesh Trivedi wants to join us, we will welcome him".
BJP national general secretary and the party's Bengal minder Kailash Vijayvargiya lauded Trivedi as a good leader who was feeling suffocated in a party like TMC.
(With inputs from agencies)