In a big jolt to West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, TMC's Rajib Banerjee resigned from his office as Forest Minister on Friday, ahead of the upcoming West Bengal Assembly election. Rajib Banerjee, who was in charge of the forest department in the Bengal government, will join the Bharatiya Janata Party during Amit Shah's upcoming visit to the poll-bound state, sources told India TV. Shah is expected to visit West Bengal from January 30 to 31.
Rajib, in a letter to Chief Minister, said he was tendering his resignation as a Cabinet minister, but did not cite any reason. "It has been a great honour and privilege to serve the people of West Bengal. I heartily convey my gratitude for getting this opportunity," he wrote.
The Domjur MLA also said that a copy of the resignation letter has been forwarded to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
"I was troubled and mentally hurt for a while and I had to take this step. It pains me and breaks my heart but I had to do it. I am grateful to Mamata Banerjee for guiding me for all the years. I reiterate my commitment towards working for the people of Bengal," he told ANI.
In a Facebook post shared along with the resignation, Rajib Banerjee said on Friday, “Hope you all are doing well. This is to inform you that I am resigning as the Minister in Charge, Department of Forest, West Bengal from today. Over the years I have tried to do my duty with full responsibility and diligence."
“I have considered each one of you as my extended family and your support has always motivated me to go the extra mile and be at your service in a better way possible, hence I am announcing my formal resignation on this platform and have informed the concerned authority as well. I hope that in the years to come I will be able to be at each of your service in the best way possible as that has been the sole reason I am into politics.” he wrote in a Facebook post along with the resignation letter.
Rajib Banerjee joined the league of leaders who have resigned from the TMC government in the recent times. Former Transport Minister in the TMC government, Suvendu Adhikari among several others joined the BJP in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a rally in Midnapore in West Bengal on December 19 last year. Earlier, Rajib Banerjee had expressed his discontentment over a few leaders in the TMC without revealing their names on Facebook.
Elections for 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal are slated to take place later this year.