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Wanted to Quit as Bengal Minister in 2018 But Was Stopped by Mamata, Says a Teary-eyed Rajib Banerjee

Rajib Banerjee breaks down while announcing his resignation from the post of state forest minister. (Screengrab/Twitter)

Rajib Banerjee breaks down while announcing his resignation from the post of state forest minister. (Screengrab/Twitter)

Banerjee claimed that he wanted to quit the cabinet in 2018 when he was removed from the state irrigation department without any consultation.

West Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee, who resigned from Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet on Friday, has claimed that he wanted to quit the cabinet in 2018 when he was removed from the state irrigation department without any consultation.

While announcing his decision to step down before the media outside the Raj Bhawan, Banerjee broke down and said, “I never thought that one day I have to take this decision. I was hurt when Mamata Banerjee removed me from the irrigation department without any consultation.”

A teary-eyed Banerjee could not hold his emotion and said, “The chief minister has every right to reshuffle her cabinet, but I was expecting a minimum courtesy from her side. She should have informed me before taking the decision. I was in the dark about the reshuffle despite giving my best to serve the department.”

Recalling the day of reshuffle when he was removed from the irrigation department and made the state Forest Minister, he said, “I was in North Bengal to monitor the flood situation. Later, I had returned to my party office was holding a meeting with the workers, when I saw the news on the television that I had been removed from the irrigation department."

"I was hurt. I took a decision to resign as a minister and informed our chief minister that I wanted to work as a party worker. But Mamata di asked me to continue as forest minister. I decided to follow her instructions but I was faced problems in executing my work on many occasions.”

Banerjee, who has not resigned from his MLA post and primary membership of the TMC, further said, “I must admit that Mamata di has given me immense opportunity and I will not forget that but somehow I found it difficult to work freely.”

Reacting to Banerjee’s resignation, TMC Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said, “TMC is like an ocean and losing a few mugs of water from the ocean will not have any impact on the party. Leaders will come and they will go but we have the people’s blessings which are not going anywhere.”

BJP in-charge of West Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “We have seen how leaders are exiting from TMC. This shows their anger against the leadership. If he wants to join BJP, then he is most welcome.”

Recently several leaders came out of TMC and most likely all of them will join the BJP ahead of the state polls this year. Rebel leader Suvendhu Adhikari has already joined BJP after quitting from the Mamata Banerjee cabinet and later TMC.

West Bengal minister and former cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla, TMC MP Sunil Mondal and Arindam Bhattacharya have also resigned from the state government.

Mamata Banerjee had accused the BJP of poaching her party’s leaders and claimed that despite that TMC will form the government in Bengal as the people of this state are with her.

first published:January 22, 2021, 16:28 IST
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