Hours after senior Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari quit the party, another MLA from the ruling camp, Jitendra Tiwari, resigned as the chief of the Asansol Municipal Corporation on Thursday. Recently, he had accused the Mamata Banerjee government of depriving the industrial city of central funds under the smart city project.
Tiwari, the Trinamool Congress's Paschim Bardhaman district president and MLA from Pandaveswar, also lauded Adhikari as the second-most important leader of the Trinamool Congress after Banerjee.
"I have resigned from the post of the chairman of the Board of Administrators of Asansol Municipal Corporation. If I am not allowed to work, what will I do with the post? So, I have resigned," he told reporters. He is likely to meet Banerjee in Kolkata on Friday, sources said.
“Asansol has been deprived of several developmental works including smart city projects. Lack of interest towards Asansol forced me to write to the party chief. Unfortunately, nothing happened. Then, I decided to meet Banerjee, but before I could do that, some goons ransacked my office in Pandaveswar.”
“The attack on my office shows the TMC does not want me anymore and, therefore. With this act, they have closed all doors for talks,” he added.
“I am not resigning from the post of MLA because there is a lot of pending work and I don’t want my people to suffer,” he added.
Earlier, Tiwari had skipped a meeting with the party's leadership to iron out the differences, stating that he wanted to talk to only Banerjee.
Meanwhile, he met Adhikari, who quit the party and the government, at TMC MP Sunil Mandal's residence in the Kanksa area of the district on Wednesday evening.
Tiwari had written to Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim a few days back, stating that the Asansol Municipal Corporation has been deprived of Rs 2,000 crore central funds as the state government had created hurdles in its selection in the smart city project. He recently also resigned from the board of governors of a college in Asansol.
Recently, a number of Trinamool Congress leaders have resigned from or started speaking out against the party leadership. Most of them are likely to join the BJP ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in 2021.
Besides Adhikari and Singh, Barrackpore MLA Shilbhadra Dutta, Singur MLA Rabindranath Bhattacharya, party MP Sunil Mandal and Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee have been hitting headlines for constantly speaking against the party.
On Wednesday, Banerjee accused the BJP of poaching her party’s leaders and claimed that the TMC will form the next government in Bengal despite the saffron camp's efforts.
(With inputs from PTI)