Kolkata: In a setback for the Trinamool Congress (TMC), West Bengal transport minister Suvendu Adhikari resigned from his post on Friday, raising ongoing speculations of him joining BJP. Adhikari tendered his resignation to CM and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
Adhikari also resigned as Chairman of Haldia Development Authority. Earlier on Thursday, Adhikari was replaced by TMC MP Kalyan Banerjeeas as chairman of Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners. Speculations are rife the estranged leader will join BJP or float his own party, which will join hands with BJP ahead of the 2021 Assembly poll. Sources said Adhikari is disgruntled with Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee gaining prominence and wrestling control of the party in districts. Adhikari has not been mentioning the TMC supremo’s name in his recent speeches. Adhikari’s loss will mean taking supporters along with him away from the TMC.
However, TMC MP Sougata Roy dispelled the rumours. “Adhikari has not resigned as MLA or from the party. Till then, there is hope to talk and ensure he stays. I think he has no plans to leave the party and is open to talks. I will keep trying," said Sougata Roy.
Meanwhile, the BJP is ready to welcome Adhikari. BJP state President Dilip Ghosh said, "I have not spoken to Mr Adhikari. He is welcome to join the BJP. He is a fighter. He will get full respect in the party. This is the beginning of the end of the Trinamool. The party will disappear. TMC is not a party, it is a mela, a circus. There is an owner, a director-producer and the rest work as employees.”
Ghosh alleged Mamata gets scared when BJP leaders come from Delhi. He said she was conspiring to turn West Bengal into West Bangladesh.