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Suvendu Adhikari quits as MLA amid reports he will join BJP

Suvendu Adhikari quits as MLA amid reports he will join BJP

Kolkata: Rebel Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari on Wednesday submitted his resignation as an MLA. Adhikari, the MLA of Nandigram constituency in Purba Medinipur district, resigned from the state Cabinet last month.

Adhikari went to the Assembly House and submitted his letter in the receiving section as Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay was not present. He did not speak to the journalists and left in his vehicle.

Biman Bandyopadhyay said: "Tendering resignation in this way is illegal." He, however, refused to elaborate on the matter.

Sudip Mukherjee, Congress MLA from Purulia, also tendered his resignation and refused to comment when asked whether he is joining BJP.

There has been a rumour that Adhikari is going to join the BJP during the visit of Amit Shah in West Midnapore on December 19. Earlier, he had resigned from the post of state Transport minister.

Hours after he resigned, Adhikari held a closed door meeting with disgruntled leaders of the party, including senior MP Sunil Mandal and Asansol civic body chief Jitendra Tiwari.

The TMC leadership refused to attach much importance to the development and said those who want are free to leave the party.

Adhikari went to Mandal's residence at Kanksa in Paschim Bardhaman district.

Mandal, a two-time Bardhaman Purba Lok Sabha MP, welcomed Adhikari and took him inside, the sources said.

Within a few minutes, Tiwari, who had recently slammed the state government for depriving the industrial town of Asansol of central funds for political reasons, was also seen entering the residence, sources said.

Tiwari is MLA from Pandabeswar assembly segment. Few other disgruntled TMC leaders from Birbhum, Bardhaman too had joined the meeting.

Later on Wednesday evening, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said the former minister has sought his intervention so that the state police is dissuaded from implicating him in criminal cases out of "political vendetta".

Sharing the copy of a letter that Adhikari wrote to him, Dhankhar said that he was taking "expected steps".

The letter came to the fore hours after Adhikari submitted his resignation as an MLA amid speculations of him switching over to the BJP from the Trinamool Congress.

"I am constrained to seek your intervention as the constitutional head so that police and administration apparatus in the state is dissuaded from implicating me and my associate followers in criminal cases out of political motivation and vendetta," Adhikari stated in the letter, shared by the Governor on Twitter.

Claiming that he had quit the

ministry dictated by a sense of duty and public welfare, Adhikari wrote that this change of political stance is spurring those in authority to be in vendetta mode against him.

"Unleashing police repression by implication in criminal cases on political considerations is certainly an alarming indicator of governance away from rule of law," the former Transport minister wrote.

Urging the Governor to initiate appropriate steps so that those concerned in police and administration desist from implicating him in a politically motivated manner, he wrote "surely 'political bonhomie' with the ruling party or dispensation cannot be essential requisite for enjoying liberty and human rights, as is the situation presently".

Meanwhile, Union Home minister Amit Shah is coming on a two-day tour in Bengal on December 19 and 20.

On December 19, he will go to West Midnapore and will visit the Ramakrishna Mission Centre and Siddheshwari temple and will also address a public rally at Midnapore College ground. He will have his lunch at a farmer's house.

On December 20 he will visit Visva Bharati and take part in a road show. He will have his lunch at a folk singer's house. He will address a press conference and leave for Delhi in the evening.

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