KOLKATA: West Bengal Parliamentary Affairs and Small and Medium Industries Minister Manoj Chakrborty has resigned from the state Cabinet after his portfolios were taken away by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the reshuffle.
Chakrobarty, who is a Congress MLA, sent his resignation letter to Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday evening. His resignations is the first since the Trinamool Congresss-Congress combine came to power in West Bengal after routing the Left Front in the 2011 Assembly elections.
Though there was no official notification so far about the reshuffle of departments effected by the Chief Minister on Monday, Chakraborty was reportedly stripped of Parliamentary Affairs and Small and Medium Industries portfolios and instead asked to work as minister of state for food processing.
Chakrobarty said, "I don't know why my department has been taken away. I demand to know from the Chief Minister why is she reshuffling the departments. I have performed 200 per cent."
Chakrobarty called it vindictive politics. "How will the government function? I spoke to Pranab and I want to quit from the ministry," said Chakrobarty.
Slamming Mamata, Chakraborty said, "People have been questioning her own performance. I have been removed from the two departments by the Chief Minister who wanted to take revenge on me."
Chakraborty also openly criticised senior Congress leader and Minister Manas Bhuniya, accusing him of playing a "dual role" by asking him to tell "Pranabda that it is not possible to remain in the ministry, while conveying some other thing to Mamata Banerjee."
A close confidant of Adhir Chowdhury, an MP from Behrampore in Murshidabad district, Chakraborty was uncomfortable with the chief minister and often alleged that he had not been allowed to function independently.
Recently the two alliance partners went through a bitter acrimony over the government's proposal to rename Indira Bhavan, a bunglow situated at Salt lake, where Indira Gandhi had stayed briefly during the AICC session in 1972.