Setback to Mamata Banerjee as heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari resigns; may join BJP ahead of assembly polls

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In a huge setback to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, one of her key party leaders, Suvendu Adhikari, has finally resigned, ending weeks of speculations. Adhikari, who stepped down from the state cabinet last month, has now resigned as an MLA from the state assembly. He submitted his resignation at the assembly secretary on Wednesday.

Elected on a Trinamool Congress ticket from the Nandigram assembly constituency of the East Midnapore district, Adhikari has been maintaining a distance from the TMC for many weeks. It was the famous anti-land acquisition movement of Nandigram in 2009 that had helped Mamata Banerjee successfully end the three decades of the Left rule in West Bengal. Two years after the Nandigram agitation, Banerjee became the first-ever chief minister of West Bengal from the TMC.

Adhikari is set to also resign from the primary membership of his party and may formally join the BJP in the next few days. There are reports that Adhikari’s formal induction in the BJP may take place during Home Minister Amit Shah’s two-day Bengal trip starting this Saturday.

TMC MP, according to news agency PTI, called Adhikari’s resignation ‘good relief.’ “It’s a good relief that he has resigned from the post of MLA. He is overambitious and wants to join BJP as he wants to become the next CM or deputy CM. He can go ahead, we are confident of winning the next assembly polls under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee,” Banerjee was quoted as saying.



Journalists say that Adhikari will join the long list of Trinamool leaders, who have jumped the ship to be a part of the Hindutva bandwagon in Bengal. They include Mukul Roy, Locket Chatterjee, Sovan Chattopadhyay, Arjun Singh Sabyasachi Dutta, Anupam Hazra, Saumitra Khan, Nisith Pramanik, Mihir Goswami and Sankudeb Panda.

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