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Laxmi Ratan Shukla resigns; CM wishes him luck

Kolkata: Minister of State for the Youth Services and Sports department and former cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla resigned from the Trinamool Congress but will remain an MLA till the term of the state Assembly expires.

Even though there was speculation that he might be joining some other political party after tendering his resignation, it has been clarified by both Shukla and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that his move was to "focus on his area of interest which is developing sports in Bengal".

Shukla, a former Indian cricketer, got a berth in the state Cabinet after becoming MLA from North Howrah Assembly constituency in 2016. He was also made the president of Howrah Zilla Trinamool Congress (Sadar) in 2020.

While replying to a question in this regard, Banerjee said: "Laxmi wants to concentrate on sports activities. So he expressed his wish to get relieved from his posts. But he will continue as an MLA till this term ends. So there is nothing to create a controversy out of it and to find anything negative in it."

She also added: "I urged the Governor to accept his resignation so that he can concentrate more in sports and I wish him all the very best for the same."

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar later tweeted that Shukla "ceases to be a member of Council of Ministers with immediate effect" and as per the Chief Minister's recommendation, the charge of the department would be vested on the department's minister Aroop Biswas.

Shukla had stated in his letter to the Chief Minister that "...I am leaving politics for now and... I shall be ever thankful, if you kindly accept this letter as my resignation and release from all my responsibilities...I will however, continue to serve as MLA till the end of this term."

Meanwhile, Bhaskar Bhattacharjee has been appointed as president of Howrah Zilla Trinamool Congress (Sadar) after Shukla resigned.

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