KOLKATA: A day after resigning as a Rajya Sabha MP, Trinamool Congress leader Arpita Ghosh on Thursday asserted that she took the decision after deliberating with the party's top leadership and was not forced by it to step down as claimed by some quarters.
Ghosh told reporters that she quit the Rajya Sabha as she wanted to devote more time to the organisational matters of the party.
The theatre activist turned politician, who was earlier a Lok Sabha member, said there are differences between being an MP of the Upper House of Parliament and that of the Lower House.
"When I was elected to the Rajya Sabha, the pandemic started and I didn't get much chance to deliver as an MP.
I think I would concentrate more on organisational affairs now.
I can also devote more time to my passion - theatre - if I stay here (West Bengal)," she said.
Ghosh was elected to the Rajya Sabha in March 2020 after she lost from Balurghat constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.
A nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 last year.
She said the decision to quit from the Rajya Sabha was not sudden as she had been communicating with the party leadership about it for the past two-three months.
Those who are saying she was compelled to step down by the TMC top brass who were not happy with her work as an MP should provide evidence in support of their claims, Ghosh said.
Her resignation was accepted by Chairman of the House and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, "She (Arpita Ghosh) was forced to resign by the dictatorial leadership of the Trinamool Congress. It shows the party does not believe in democracy within the organisation."
Reacting to the state BJP chief's assertion, senior TMC leader and minister Firhad Hakim said, "Dilip Ghosh should not meddle into internal affairs of the Trinamool Congress."
Arpita Ghosh had herself wanted to resign and work for the organisation and the party granted her wish, he said.
She was among those suspended during the ruckus in the Upper House in the recently concluded Parliament session wherein both MPs and marshals were allegedly injured.
Arpita Ghosh had her first brush with politics when she became a prominent face of the TMC's intellectual brigade during the Nandigram and Singur movements during 2006-2008.
In 2014, she won the Lok Sabha polls from Balurghat as a TMC candidate.