In another blow to Mamata Banerjee government, West Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee has resigned from his position on Friday. The state’s cabinet minister did not cite any reason for his resignation but it comes at a time when a recent string of ministers and senior party leaders have exited from Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government as the state heads for Assembly elections in March-April.
In his resignation letter, forest minister Rajib Banerjee said, “I regret to inform you that I hereby tender my resignation from my Office as Cabinet Minister being in charge of Forest Department on today, i.e., On 22nd of January, 2021.”
He further said it has been a ‘great honour and privilege to serve the people of West Bengal. He said, “I heartily convey my gratitude for getting this opportunity. I have sent a copy of this to His Excellency, Governor of West Bengal for his necessary action. Kindly accept my resignation and oblige.”
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, a heavyweight TMC leader from Howrah had gone to Raj Bhawan and handed his letter of resignation to Governor Jagdeep Dhankar personally.
Rajib Banerjee is the third minister to resign from the West Bengal government in a month. He had been skipping cabinet meetings and had expressed his dissent over the functioning of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) party. He had complained about ‘some leaders in the Trinamool Congress (TMC)’ carrying out propaganda against him. Senior TMC leader Partha Chatterjee had held two rounds of talks with him.
On January 16, in a Facebook live, Rajib had said, “I wanted to do some good work for the people but failed because of some persons in the party.”
The ruling TMC government is going through a political turmoil as the party is seeing an exodus of leaders and workers to BJP.
In December, Suvendu Adhikari, who was considered a close aide to TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, quit the government and joined the BJP along with a large number of other TMC leaders and workers.
On January 5, state sports minister Laxmi Ratan Shukla resigned saying he is ‘taking a break from politics.’
BJP, which is looking to replace the Mamata Banerjee led TMC government in West Bengal, has party heavyweights such as President JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visiting the state regularly. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Kolkata on January 23 to celebrate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is also visiting the state on January 30 and is scheduled to hold a rally in Howrah.