Another blow to Mamata, Bengal forest minister Rajib Banerjee quits cabinet

In a recent live feed on Facebook, Banerjee had accused certain people in the party of obstructing his work towards the welfare of people and grassroots workers

As per the original plan, the five leaders -- Rajib Banerjee, Baishali Dalmiya, Prabir Ghoshal, Rathin Chakraborty and Partha Sarathi Chatterjee -- were supposed to join the BJP at Shah’s rally in Howrah on Sunday, but Shah had to cancel his Bengal visit.

Delivering yet another jolt to the Trinamool Congress, Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee, who had been expressing dissent over the functioning of the party, quit the cabinet on Friday.

Banerjee is one of the prominent leaders after former Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari and former Minister of State for Sports Laxmiratan Shukla to have stepped down from a ministerial berth.

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“I regret to inform you that I hereby tender my resignation from office as cabinet minister being in charge of Forest Department on today, i.e, on 22nd January, 2021,” he said in a letter addressed to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

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Banerjee also personally visited Governor Jagdeep Dhankar at the Raj Bhawan to hand over his resignation letter.

Banerjee who has been missing cabinet meetings is speculated to quit the party ahead of the Assembly polls.

In a Facebook Live feed on January 16, Banerjee, an MLA from Domjur constituency had accused a few people in the party of causing hindrance to his efforts for the welfare of people and cadres.

“I wanted to do some good work for the people, but failed because of some people in the party,” he said.

Stating that grassroots workers who toil hard for the party are not given their due recognition, he asked the leadership to take “corrective steps” this regard.

TMC MP Sougata Roy called Banerjee’s resignation a good riddance.

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“It is a good riddance as he was not discharging his duties as a minister and party leader. We tried to change his mind and make him understand. But he has decided otherwise. It is good that he has resigned, otherwise we would have taken action against him,” Indian Express quoted him as saying.

Banerjee who is rumoured to join the BJP is the last in the list of as many as 12 TMC MLAs who have quit the party to join the BJP.

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