West Bengal Minister of State for Youth Services and Sports Laxmi Ratan Shukla resigned from his post on Tuesday. The 39-year-old sent his resignation letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and a copy of it to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. The former captain of the Bengal Ranji team and the MLA of Howrah (Uttar), in his resignation letter expressed his willingness to "retire" from politics.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee has confirmed to have received the resignation letter and said that there is no misunderstanding between them. She added that Shukla wants to return to sports and will continue as an MLA till the Assembly elections in the state this year. "I have received his resignation letter. Laxmi is a good boy and he wants to return to sports. There is no misunderstanding... He will continue as MLA till the election and I have recommended to the governor that his resignation should be accepted," NDTV quoted Banerjee as saying.
The former cricketer's resignation came almost a fortnight after state transport minister Suvendu Adhikari had left the party and joined BJP. His youngest brother, Soumendu Adhikari, also switched sides and joined the saffron party. He was a councillor and chairperson of a municipality in East Midnapore district. Reportedly, at least a dozen other party councillors joined the BJP with him last week.
As the West Bengal Assembly elections are approaching, the battle between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is getting fierce each passing day with Union Minister Amit Shah. Besides, the elections to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly are likely to be held in April-May.