Bengal Minister Suvendu Adhikari quits Cabinet

Bengal Minister Suvendu Adhikari quits Cabinet

KOLKATA [Maha Media]: In what could be a blow to the Trinamool Congress in Bengal ahead of next year's Assembly election, senior minister Suvendu Adhikari has resigned from his post. The resignation letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was submitted this morning. A copy was sent to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

Mr Adhikari has quit as minister for transport and irrigation, but remains a Trinamool MLA as he has not resigned from the Assembly. Nevertheless, his resignation from the cabinet could be a precursor for his exit from the party.

The Nandigram MLA has made no secret of his discontent within the Trinamool for the past two to three months, skipping all party and cabinet meetings. And, at his numerous rallies, there were no Trinamool flags, banners or portraits of the Chief Minister.

He has never spoken about it publicly but Mr Adhikari is known to be unhappy with the prominence given to Ms Banerjee's nephew and Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee.

"I have not arrived by parachute or by a lift, I have reached where I am by climbing up the stairs, one step at a time," he said at a recent public meeting.

He is also known to be displeased with the influence of poll strategist Prashant Kishor in party affairs. Mr Kishor travelled 150 km to Mr Adhikari's home in East Midnapore's Kanthi this month, but had to leave after only meeting his father, Trinamool MP Sisir Adhikari.

Over the past two weeks the Trinamool deployed senior MP Sougata Roy to talk to Mr Adhikari. At least two meetings were held in Kolkata, but neither yielded a breakthrough.

"Mr 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," Mr Roy said today.

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