Trinamul Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari today poured cold water on the rumours doing the rounds for the last few months that he might switch parties and join the BJP. Adhikari, the Trinamul Congress MLA from Nandigram, said today, “I am still a member of one party. I am still minister of the state cabinet. No one has asked me to leave, neither have I decided to leave. The chief minister has kept me as a minister and she has not forced me to leave.”

He was speaking at a mega rally of co-operative societies held at Ramnagar in East Midnapore. Many thought he would break his silence on the rumours at this rally as he had said in an earlier rally held in Nandigram on 10 November that there would be a mega show in Ramnagar.

Refuting all rumours, Adhikari, one of the architects of the Nandigram antiland acquisition movement, said, “Media hyped the rally for their TRP. It is not my responsibility to feed them.”

“This is an apolitical stage of the cooperative banks. I know where to say what. I will not speak anything political here,” the TMC leader said.

Adhikari, who is currently serving as the minister in charge of transport, irrigation and water resource in the West Bengal government and holding several important party posts, however, came down heavily against some of his party leaders without mentioning their names.

Adhikari said, “Political talk should not come from within the party and cabinet. We are the people of Vidyasagar’s homeland. We don’t do so much immorality. We are not such people to abandon our ethics and ideals.”

He said, “I have been attached to the cooperative movement since 1996. I don’t work for money. I work driven by emotion and passion. I am directly attached with 1 crore people through the cooperative movement. Not a state, not even a country has been able to conduct such a mega rally till now.”

Criticising his own party leaders without mentioning their names, Adhikari said “I have not been a man for a day or two. I have close acquaintance with everyone. I never say to vote only or to break it. I was always beside the people during lockdown, during Covid and during Amphan. I am not a spring cuckoo.”

After a period of silence, the former youth secretary of Trinamul Congress has been letting his disenchantment with the party become known at various independent meetings and rallies. Suvendu has not been seen in any TMC events for some time now.

Reacting to Adhikari’s public meeting, the TMC said he is very much with the party. “Suvendu Adhikari is a very senior and important leader of our party. He is very much with us. We all love and respect him a lot. I would request the media not to speculate,” TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee said.