Amid the growing rift with Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee, party’s top leader Suvendu Adhikari resigned as an MLA from the West Bengal Assembly on Wednesday. Speculations are rife that the 49-year-old Adhikari may join the BJP. Soon after he resigned, Adhikari was given Z-plus security by the Union government.
The differences between the TMC and Adhikari came to fore after he resigned as minister for transport, irrigation and waterways in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet. He also gave up the post of chairman of the Hooghly River Bridge Commission.
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Mamata Banerjee responded by removing Adhikari loyalists in East Midnapore from key positions. Recently, the party expelled Adhikari loyalist and East Midnapore district unit president Kanishka Panda.
Suvendu Adhikari was the face of the Nandigram movement that gave Mamata Banerjee’s political career a boost and helped her gain power in West Bengal.
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Suvendu Adhikari was unhappy with party leadership for promoting Abhishek Banerjee and Prashant Kishor to the top.
Suvendu Adhikari’s father Sisir Adhikari and brother Dibyendu are sitting TMC MPs from Tamluk and Kanthi Lok Sabha constituencies respectively.
The family has significant clout in at least 40-45 assembly segments in West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram, parts of Birbhum.
Adhikari’s exit may considerably impact TMC’s poll prospects in the upcoming assembly elections next year.