Another bigwig has deserted the Trinamool Congress (TMC), shaking up West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee yet again. MLA Rajib Banerjee on 22 January resigned from the post of forest minister.
Rajib Banerjee is a TMC legislature from Domjur in Howrah and was the forest minister in the Bengal government.
In a letter to the chief minister, Rajib Banerjee wrote, “I regret to inform you that I hereby tender my resignation from my office as Cabinet minister being in charge of Forest department.”
“It has been a great honour and privilege to serve the people of West Bengal. I heartily convey my gratitude for getting this opportunity. Kindly accept my resignation and oblige,” Banerjee stated in his letter to the West Bengal Chief Minister.
A day earlier, Bengali actor Rudranil Ghosh, once believed to be close to the TMC leadership and particularly Mamata Banerjee, sparked rumours of joining BJP ahead of the Bengal election amid the growing number of party leaders who are deflecting to the saffron party.
Ghosh had met BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and actress Rimjhim Mitra, also a member of the saffron party, at a social function in south Kolkata on Wednesday night.
Two days ago, former TMC leader Arindam Bhattacharya joined the BJP. The Nadia leader arrived in Delhi on 20 January afternoon and met Kailash Vijayvargiya before joining BJP.
The TMC MLA from Domjur’s resignation comes days ahead of Amit Shah’s reported visit to poll-bound Bengal from 30 January to 31 January. Notably, during Shah’s last visit, former Trinamool heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari, who has a significant presence in Nandigram area, joined BJP in presence of the union home minister at a massive rally in East Medinipur.
Following Adhikari’s resignation, 34 other leaders, including five MLAs and an MP, switched over to the BJP. Not only the TMC, but Left and Indian Nationa Congress (INC) leaders have joined the resurgent BJP recently. 15 MLAs and an MP of the TMC, three Left MLAs and three INC legislators have joined the BJP.
Earlier this week, Trinamool Congress MLA Arindam Bhattacharya joined the BJP and accused some ruling party leaders of not letting him do development work in his constituency. The MLA from Santipur constituency in Nadia district accused the Banerjee regime of not providing employment opportunities for the youth of the state.
Earlier, Rajib Banerjee and TMC MLAs Baishali Dalmiya and Sadhan Pande and several other leaders voiced grievances about the way of functioning of party leaders.