Another West Bengal Minister Rajib Banerjee Resigns; TMC Expels Baishali Dalmiya

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Kolkata: The ‘exodus’ from the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) continues, with West Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee resigning from Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet on Friday.

The chief minister will herself look after the forest ministry for the time being.

Talking to the media after tendering his resignation to Governor Jagdeep Dhankar, Rajib said that he was being mentally troubled by some senior TMC leaders.

“I am extremely grateful to TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee for including me in her cabinet. I was close to resigning two-and-a-half years ago after learning from the media that my department had been changed. I was being troubled mentally by a few senior leaders of the party, so I had to resign. Some didn’t allow me to work and just exploited me,” said Rajib, adding that the Governor had accepted his resignation.

Asked whether he will join the BJP, Rajib was non-committal.

“I will be in politics, but don’t know about my next move… I will continue working for the people. I will also celebrate Netaji Subash Chandra Bose’s birthday from my Domjur assembly constituency,” Rajib stated.

According to sources, Rajib’s resignation has not been accepted as he didn’t follow standard protocol.

“Rajib will be suspended. It’s the chief minister who sends resignation letters to the governor, but Rajib himself visited the governor before meeting the chief minister. The chief minister has suspended him from the post and now the forest ministry will be taken care by Mamata Banerjee,” informed sources in Nabanna.

In another development, Howrah North MLA Baishali Dalmiya has been expelled from the TMC for allegedly making ‘anti-party comments’. Baishali has been vocal against the ruling party and also supported Rajib’s move.

Rubbishing Rajib’s claim that he was mentally troubled, West Bengal Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee said that the former was not heckled by anyone from the party.

Senior CPI(M) leader and Politburo member Sujan Chakraborty quipped that the Trinamool Congress will fall like a ‘pack of cards’ before election, which is due in April-May.

According to BJP sources, Rajib and Baishali will join the party during Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the state on January 30.

West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said that Rajib is free to join the saffron camp.

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