KOLKATA: Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's key former lieutenant and one of the heroes of the Nandigram agitation Suvendu Adhikari on Wednesday afternoon tendered his resignation from the West Bengal Legislative Assembly amid a strong buzz that he is set to join the BJP.
Suvendu's resignation ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections is said to be significant in Bengal's present political scenario. The ex-Nandigram MLA had resigned from the state cabinet last month.
Suvendu's departure is not seen as the end of TMC's troubles. A number of disgruntled functionaries in the ruling party have started expressing their discontent accusing a section of party leaders of being involved in corruption. They are also unhappy with "political classes" being taken by election strategist Prashant Kishor and his team.
With the Assembly polls a few months away, the ruling party has its hands full in keeping its house in order, taking away focus from preparations to decimate the BJP. Several members and elected legislators are said to be likely to raise the banner of revolt against the party leadership.
Sunil Mandal, the MP from East Burdwan, alleged the party is being run by corrupt leaders and extortionists. Referring to the decision of hiring Kishor, he said an electoral battle cannot be won with the help of hired soldiers.
Suvendu's exit came after a recent meeting with CM's nephew Abhishek Banerjee and Prashant Kishor. Mamata had reportedly directed the party leaders, who were asked to deal with Adhikari, to close the episode. She had also asked the party functionaries to prepare for the fight in the upcoming Assembly elections without Adhikari, a former minister in her cabinet.
BJP's Bengal observer Kailash Vijayvargiya had said the party would welcome Suvendu, a follower of Mukul Roy who used to be known as TMC's face in the East Midnapore district and some other parts in the state, with the proper respect that he deserves.
"Other than Mamata Banerjee, Suvendu is one of the few mass leaders in the TMC. I know him for a long period and we are good friends. Suvendu’s entry in the BJP will definitely strengthen our party’s base in Bengal," he said.