The TMC ship is sinking in the state of West Bengal ahead of the assembly elections and the party leaders are jumping the ship one after another. After a mass exodus of leaders leaving TMC to join BJP came to a momentarily halt, the process has started all over again as TMC minister Rajib Banerjee on Friday tendered his resignation to Mamata Banerjee amid speculations of him joining BJP.
In a letter to CM Mamata Banerjee, Rajib Banerjee said, “I regret to inform you that I hereby tender my resignation from my office as Cabinet minister being in charge of the Forest Department.”
This is to inform you that I am resigning as the Minister in Charge, Department of Forest, West Bengal from today. pic.twitter.com/dfVq6aVxUj
— Rajib Banerjee (@RajibBaitc) January 22, 2021
Rajib Banerjee had skipped five consecutive meetings of the Mamata cabinet and more than a dozen party programmes since September last year when he started voicing his dissent against a section of the leadership in Howrah. However, while talking to the media, Banerjee got emotional and said that he had decided to hang his boots from TMC, much before starting his rebellion.
“I had decided to leave the state cabinet two-and-a-half years ago when I was removed as irrigation minister. I had expected the minimum courtesy from the CM as a co-worker that she would inform me about her decision before making the announcement. I came to know from the media when I was holding a party meeting. I had then decided to leave the cabinet and remain a party worker. Later, Mamata Banerjee pacified me and gave me new responsibilities and roles as a minister,” told Rajib to the media.
After Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari and Minister of State for Sports Laxmi Ratan Shukla’s resignation from TMC, Rajib is the third high-profile minister to sever ties with Mamata.
It is already being implied that Suvendu Adhikari might prove to be TMC’s Himanta Biswa Sarma mistake. Sarma after being ignored by INC decided to quit the party and joined BJP where he rapidly rose through the ranks and managed to deliver not only Assam but almost the entire North East which was once an impregnable stronghold of the grand old party.
Such is the clout of Suvdendu Adhikari in West Bengal that Mamata Banerjee has been forced to contest the upcoming Assembly elections from two seats viz. Bhowanipur and Nandigram, with the latter being Adhikari’s stronghold as he is the MLA.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the election-bound state today, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah visiting later on January 30, it would not be a reach to speculate that Rajib Banerjee might join the BJP under the wings of the two leaders.
BJP is mounting a serious fightback against Mamata’s tyrannical rule and the recent history proves that the ordinary Bengali folks are looking for alternatives. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP pulled a bunny out of the hat by winning 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state and crossed the 40 per cent vote share mark, a 23 percentage points jump from its 2014 performance.
Therefore, with big TMC leaders resigning and changing flanks, the voters will believe that all is not well within TMC and prefer to vote for a much stable option in BJP. The election season is charging up and it is BJP that is calling the shots at the moment.